A Kresge Foundation grant will enable ACE to enhance the resources available through ACE’s online Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions and further ACE’s mission of supporting higher education programs that ensure veterans are college- and career-ready.
The $758,000 grant will help ACE deploy technical upgrades to the toolkit, including social media tools such as blogs and discussion forums to increase interaction between users. These upgrades are designed to increase the ability of colleges and universities to use the site to build effective programs for student veterans. They also will allow ACE to design evaluation tools to examine institutional awareness about the need to serve student veterans and look at higher education’s capacity to provide these types of programs and resources.
ACE will launch a national awareness campaign to engage a wider audience of continuing education, professional development, student affairs and student services professionals in discussions about promising practices that support the needs of student veterans and encourage key stakeholders to use the toolkit’s resources.
The toolkit, located at www.vetfriendlytoolkit.org, was launched March 21 with the support of the Kresge Foundation. The site already has had more than 12,000 unique visitors and more than 45,000 page views. More than 300 colleges and universities are using its resources to highlight veteran-friendly services available on campus and to share information with other institutions.
“The toolkit already is assisting institutions around the country to determine how to best serve student veterans in ways most suitable to their individual campuses,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “This generous new grant will help broaden the scope and reach of that important work.”
“The new services and features this grant will help ACE develop for the toolkit will enhance the ability of institutions to share and implement a range of ideas for how to meet the needs of student veterans undertaking postsecondary education,” said Gretchen M. Bataille, ACE senior vice president for Leadership and Lifelong Learning.
”With their maturity and life experiences, veterans are an important part of the strategy to help the United States regain its international preeminence as the world’s best educated nation. We are delighted that ACE has taken a leadership role in supporting veterans as they pursue college degrees and hope this grant will further strengthen the Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions,” said William F. L. Moses, program director for education at The Kresge Foundation.
The Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions is part of ACE's Serving Those Who Serve: Higher Education and America's Veterans, a broad-based initiative designed to promote access to and success in higher education for more than 2 million service members and their families who are eligible for expanded benefits under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Resources available include information on campus best practices, resources on serving students with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and an issue brief on the challenges veterans face when transitioning to campus.
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.0 billion private foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development. Fostering greater access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income, minority and first-generation college students is the focus of Kresge's Education grantmaking. In 2011, Kresge awarded more than $22 million in grants to support higher education in the United States and South Africa, with half benefiting U.S. community colleges. For more information, please visit the Foundation website: www.kresge.org or follow @kresgedu.
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