In honor of Veteran’s Day, representatives from New River Community and Technical College joined higher education leaders from across West Virginia today to pledge increased support for student veterans as part of the State’s “5 Star Challenge” initiative, which launched earlier this fall.
The Challenge, which calls on institutions to adopt a set of exemplary standards for supporting student veterans, is a tribute to the military tradition of issuing “challenge coins” to service members who embody the values and standards of their military units.
In accepting the Challenge, New River CTC has committed to 1) providing a signed commitment from President L. Marshall Washington to adopt best practices and standards, 2) emphasizing a focus on increasing access and affordability to higher education for student veterans, 3) providing increased academic support including priority registration for classes, 4) enhancing social networks for veterans on campus, and 5) encouraging greater collaboration with community organizations working to meet the needs of military service members. A detailed outline of the Challenge can be found at www.cfwv.com, the state’s free college and career-planning website.
“Our veteran students bring unique and diverse contributions to the classroom that enhance the learning process for all of our students. We want to recognize their contributions and service as they pursue their educational goals,” said Donna Lewis, Coordinator of Adult and Veteran Student Services at New River CTC.
Currently, 51 student veterans are enrolled at the College.
“We are proud to announce that all public four-year undergraduate institutions in West Virginia have accepted the ‘5 Star Challenge,’” Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) said.
“Their participation in this effort not only acknowledges a sincere commitment to meeting the unique needs of our student veterans, but also results in real policies that will provide tangible benefits to military service members who are pursuing higher education. By providing student veterans with services such as priority registration and building stronger support networks on campus, we are honoring their service to our country and equipping them with the resources they need to succeed.”
“Our two-year public colleges are fully committed to providing resources and support to ensure the success of our student veterans,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) said.
“Student veterans contribute so much to our campus communities through their service to our country and their leadership in the classroom. Accepting the ‘5 Star Challenge’ is a way for us to acknowledge their contributions and sacrifices – and to assist them in balancing both their educational pursuits and their unique experiences as past or present military service members.”
The 5 Star Challenge is an initiative of the Office of Veterans Education and Training Programs within the Division of Student Affairs at the Commission and WVCTCS. In addition to issuing the challenge to campuses, the Commission and WVCTCS are committing to providing more resources to help student veterans navigate the higher education system and find support on campus and in the community.
New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southeastern West Virginia from the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville), and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver/Beckley).