Friday, December 9, 2011

Rio Salado Offers Programs for Returning Veterans

The military drawdown in Afghanistan will bring nearly 45,000 troops back to the United States by the end of this year. To do its part for transitioning military members, Rio Salado College provides educational programs and support geared specifically to the success of our nation’s returning heroes.

East Valley Veterans Education Center
Opened in early 2011, the East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC) in Tempe provides educational outreach and college advisement services to veterans and their family members at no cost.

Earlier this year, the EVVEC hosted its inaugural “Veterans’ Boot Camp” in partnership with Chandler University.

“The goal of boot camp is to help veterans secure great careers,” said Rico Lolle, Coordinator of Veterans Services at Rio Salado.

The weeklong program consisted of 40-hours of intense training that included computer skills, fitness activities, social networking, financial management and corporate etiquette.

Most classes are taught by successful veterans who have transitioned from the military to the private or public sector and they teach the most innovative job searching techniques and networking skills needed for success in the modern workplace.

“The boot camp program empowers veterans to break through barriers and deal with the challenges they often face when transitioning from the military to a civilian career,” said
Jamie L. McDaniel, Student Services Specialist at the EVVEC.

Military Partnerships
As a ServicemembersOpportunity College, Rio Salado has partnerships with many branches of the military including eArmyU, the Army National Guard Institute and the Coast Guard Institute.

“We are here to support military students, families and veterans by offering a wide range of courses and services, and by acting as a large welcome mat for the men and women in our Armed Forces,” Carr said.
Military students take advantage of Rio’s online classes, as well as a dedicated Military Education Program staff with extensive military experience, and a broad range of services including registration, tutoring, academic advising, library and counseling.

“There are more veteran students now than we have ever seen,” said Gary Marabella, a veteran affairs representative at Rio Salado College. “Rio Salado’s online classes give military students, both active soldiers and veterans, a flexible option for their education.”

Troops to Teachers
One program is Troops to Teachers, where military members can get training to begin a second career in education as a K-12 public teacher in the public school system.

“Rio Salado College recognizes the enormous potential and knowledge that veterans have to offer the workforce,” said Chantele Carr, Coordinator of Military Advisement at Rio Salado. “Through the Troops to Teachers program, military students can prepare for a teaching career after service.”

By earning degrees, veterans can improve their educational level while also benefitting the community by improving the quality of new teachers and the instruction itself.

Rio Salado College provides teacher education programs including bachelor’s degrees and post-baccalaureate credentialing pathways.

Troops to Teachers is a federal program funded by the United States Department of Education through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.