Clayton State University President Dr. Thomas Hynes indicated Clayton State’s embracing the U.S. Department of Education’s “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success” program with a special signing ceremony on Nov. 25, 2014 in the University’s Veterans Resource Center.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Elaine Manglitz, Veterans Resource Center Coordinator Tina Lake, Clayton State Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Angelyn Hayes, Sociology professor Dr. Rodger Bates and Director of the Center for Academic Success Kathy Garrison of the University’s Veterans Advisory Team, and Clayton State student veterans Charles Jenkins, Keith Loughrey, Vernard Robins and Troylin Hickerson.
“Institutions’ commitments to these values is an exceptional thing,” commented Hynes during the ceremony. “It’s something we owe you folks who serve our country.”
According to Under Secretaries of Education Allison Hickey and Ted Mitchell, the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success program is the result of collaboration at an interagency gathering of more than 100 education experts. These eight strategies include; creating a culture of connectedness on campus, coordinating and centralizing campus efforts for all veterans, collaborating with local communities and organizations to align services and supports for veterans, implementing an early alert system, utilizing a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information relating to veteran students (i.e., retention and degree completion), and developing systems to ensure sustainability of effective practices.
According to Hayes, the University’s Veterans Advisory Team has reviewed each key and has determined that the University is already applying each one.
One additional note to the ceremony; the four student veterans in attendance represented a microcosm of the diversity of both Clayton State’s 400 plus student veterans, and the University’s student body as a whole. Jenkins is a native of Fayetteville, N.C. who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1995 to 2010. Loughrey is a U.S. Army veteran (1993-2013) from Kittanning, Pa. Robins, an Atlanta native, represented the U.S. Marine Corps (2003-2007) at the ceremony. Hickerson, a VA work study student for the Veterans Resource Center and the president of the Clayton State Student Veterans Association, is an army veteran (1986-1993) from New Orleans.
For more information on the voluntary initiative “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success,” which builds upon the 70th anniversary of the implementation of the G.I. Bill of Rights, go to http://www.cvent.com/events/8-keys-to-veteran-s-success/event-summary-9d85142eae7e422786691f9a4e0f3c50.aspx?RefID=8%20Keys%20to%20Success.