April 30, 2010

Congressman Murphy Supports Military and Veterans' Education Initiative

Advances Request to Support SUNY Empire State College Site

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – April 6, 2010) U.S. Congressman Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, has advanced the cause of higher education for active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families by advancing a request for funding of a SUNY Empire State College initiative to the Congressional Appropriations Committee.

The $500,000 project would support the creation of the Higher Education Veterans Transition Center: An Online Virtual Resource for Veterans and Military Personnel at Empire State College. The center will be an interactive, web-based support system that will serve as a free resource for veterans, active-duty military and their families seeking to enroll in college. The system will be developed and maintained by Empire State College’s Office of Military and Veteran Education (OVME), which was established to help service members take advantage of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and its substantial financial support for veterans and military members who wish to pursue a college degree.

“Creating a new online education center for veterans and military personnel at Empire State College would provide much-needed resources to allow them to enroll easily in college programs,” said Murphy. “Working with SUNY Empire State College to request this appropriation was an opportunity to see close up the kinds of programs and potential that are available in higher education to our veterans. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am committed to providing our active-duty military, military families and veterans all the resources they need to take advantage of the educational opportunities available through the G.I. Bill.”

“Congressman Murphy’s decision to move this request forward affirms his commitment to higher education for New York state veterans, military personnel and their families,” said college President Alan Davis. “Support from the Higher Education Veterans Transition Center (HEVTC) at Empire State College will be as valuable as the financial support provided by the G.I. Bill.”

Davis added that individuals served by HEVTC and the college’s OVME are likely to experience a more successful transition to civilian life and that New York state will benefit in the long term from their talents and energy, which will help to revitalize the economy.

“We are thrilled Empire State College is making a commitment to veterans,” said County Supervisor for Saratoga Springs Joanne Yepsen. “There is a huge gap in what is offered and what is needed for military personnel to make a successful transition to civilian life. Federal support will go a long way in providing our veterans much-needed services once they’ve returned to their homes.”

SUNY Empire State College works closely with the state’s Division of Veterans’ Affairs to identify and meet the needs of the population they both serve; SUNY Empire State College has been designated “military-friendly” by Servicemember Opportunity Colleges. Approximately 850 students are served through OVME.

The college is the ideal learning environment for active-duty military personnel and veterans because it provides opportunities for individuals to earn a State University of New York (SUNY) degree through Empire State College at one of 34 locations across New York state, or online, anywhere, anytime. Additionally, service members may enroll in an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree program with advance standing by transferring credits from prior college-level academic study, their military transcripts, or CLEP and DANTES exams.

“Clearly, we need to do all we can to ensure that veterans find a welcome home here in New York state and that opportunities are within their reach,” said Davis. “The Higher Education Veterans Transition Center will help veterans succeed in a truly competitive global economy.”  

SUNY Empire State College offers adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, seminars, residencies and online courses. They also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience. The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide with 34 locations in New York state and online. For more information, visit www.esc.edu.

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