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Syracuse University hosts summit for veterans in higher ed

More than two dozen collegiate presidents and chancellors joined with senior government leaders at Syracuse University this week to mark the 50th anniversary of the United State’s all-volunteer military, and an end to the military draft. The idea is to find out how higher education can work better with military-connected learners.

Nick Armstrong, managing director for research at the D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families, welcomed the education leaders to Syracuse University’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs. He said discussions like this center on the long-term sustainability of an all-volunteer armed service.

"It means thinking differently about curriculum, how it’s delivered, how it can be more agile to support demands of folks who are in the service, whether they’re training, or out for training exercises for two weeks,” Armstrong said. “That’s hard to do in a traditional course and be there for testing, things like that."

Less than 1% of Americans are actually connected to the military and serve. And many jobs in the military now require advanced education. Armstrong said it’s a win-win for veterans and their families, and the colleges and universities willing to work with them.

"Creating opportunities for veterans in the military to engage in higher education is actually a benefit to the university in terms of diversity of opinion and experiences and those things that make universities better," Armstrong said.

This first-of-a-kind summit was hosted collaboratively by Syracuse University and the University of Tennessee.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.