Friday, March 20, 2009

Veterans Affairs questions on tap today...

There was a meeting this morning with some of the people at Coker who are veterans and others to see if there is support for a student veterans club/group on campus. At the same time, that sparks questions about Coker's role in educating veterans. Just by coincidence the headline on today's USA TODAY is that veterans unemployment is at 11.2%

It is pretty obvious with unemployment numbers like that, going back for more education might be a real veteran option. And how is this a Coker experience topic? I guess because it takes me back. When I left the Marine Corps in 1970 there were not a lot of jobs for veterans. When I returned back to Rome, NY, (home) after about six months of traveling parts of the world there were no jobs. (1971). It was more than a little embarrassing to be in the unemployment line with a college education and with experience as a Marine Corps officer. Through a strange set of circumstances a school principal from South Carolina was in upstate NY visiting husband's relatives and she put an ad in the paper for teachers for her school. I applied (with absolutely no training as a teacher) for the job and because I had read a great deal about Open Education, she offered me the job. That started my life in South Carolina, which is now being spent many hours a day on the Coker campus.

I am not sure Coker is large enough to sustain a large population of veterans but, at the same time, we might be just the right size to incorporate some key programs to fit the differing educational needs of those who have spent some years serving our country. I think the campus will get a veteran and military student organization. A few of our students are National Guard and they may be motivated enough to start the group.

1 comment:

  1. It's great this discussion is going on at Coker! It is a topic that has come up several times in my graduate program.