Thursday, August 27, 2009

GSU awarded $250,000 to support educational opportunities for military vets

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Georgia State University a $250,000 grant to operate a Veterans Upward Bound program to help military navigate leaving the battlefield and heading to the classroom as they leave the service.

Georgia State is the one of only seven colleges and universities in the nation to land and share in the award totaling $1.75 million. GSU is the only in Georgia.

“Georgia State has a long tradition of supporting veterans,” said GSU President Mark Becker. “This grant will assist in furthering the work we do for a most deserving segment of our society – the men and women who tirelessly serve our nation and protect our freedoms. We are most appreciative that the U.S. Department of Education selected Georgia State to provide support through the Veterans Upward Bound program for those who have served in the U.S. military.”

If approved by U.S. Congress, GSU’s award could total $1 million over the next four years.

The program will support military veterans with academic skills, refresher courses, counseling, and mentoring, and tutoring, among its services with the goal of increasing the rate of enrollment and degree completion.

“Offering this assistance is our responsibility and our duty to the men and women who served in our nation’s military,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a release. “Helping them access college is good for the nation that they will continue to serve as productive and participating members of the civilian community.”

Veterans Upward Bound emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and it is one of eight educational opportunity outreach programs designed to support and motivate students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those with disabilities.

Georgia State, a leader in the enrollment of military veterans, will launch its Veterans Upward Bound program on campus on Sept. 1, said Everett Boyer, who will serve as project director. The program will operate out of the Office of Educational Opportunity and TRIO programs.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” said Boyer. “With the new GI bill, this is an opportunity to help veterans re-enter the mainstream and transition from military to civilian life.”

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