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Project Title:The Operation College Promise (OCP) Creating Environment for Veteran Success ModelInstitution Name:New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) Innovation Category:Student Success Project Director:Wendy A. Lang, Director of Policy and ProgramContact Information:(609) 989-1100, walang@njascu.orgWebsite:http://www.OperationCollegePromise.com
Project Description:A professional development and outreach model designed to educate veterans and professionals on contemporary resources available to establish environments for veteran success, particularly on college campuses. The project includes a comprehensive website with monthly updates provided through Mail Call – the program’s e-newsletter. Additionally, OCP’s unique Certificate for Veterans’ Service Provider (CVSP) workshop offers professionals a 2 ½ day training designed to delineate a framework for serving veterans in the Post-9/11 era. A 100-page national resource guide serves as a transferable resource for both veterans and providers. Funding supports ongoing professional development and information dissemination, along with direct outreach to veterans.
Objectives:

·        Expand a national model to provide professionals with a basic framework for serving veterans and servicemembers by providing CVSP training in areas with high numbers of institutions and veterans; share model and engage professionals from 25 additional states in 2012-2013.

·         Design publications and resources to disseminate OCP’s “Framework for Veterans Success” and serve as a clearinghouse for emerging resources.

·         Survey partner institutions on implementation of the “Framework”. 

·         Record 10,000 hits on OCP Web site, record 1000 fans on Facebook and increase distribution list to 5,000.

·         Expand 2011 “Operation College Promise/Tillman Foundation collaborative report, “Completing the Mission” report in 2012 to include 40 campuses and 1500 students. 

·         Establish pilot condensed degree programs in areas with long-term employment potential.  

·         Develop research-driven assessment of veteran progress toward employment.
 

Outcomes:
  • Over 40 of 52 New Jersey institutions participated in OCP’s professional development programs; engaged 200 participants from more than 20 states and 200 institutions in CVSP training.
  • Website hits exceed 5,000 with about 400 Facebook fans and distribution of monthly Mail Call e-newsletter at approximately 2,000.
  • Through participation in Post-Deployment and Pre-Deployment programming, reached more than 3,000 Guardsmen.
  • AY 2011 median enrollments increased by 62 percent with Graduation Probability Indices in development.
  • Dissemination of CVSP in Texas and North Carolina. 
  • Maintained 99 % satisfaction rate of CVSP graduates.
  • Developed first pilot condensed degree program with Stockton College – passed NJ Legislature.

 

Challenges/Problems Encountered:A primary challenge for OCP has been getting word out to veterans and servicemembers, especially those serving in an active-duty capacity.  Funding does not permit extensive marketing campaigns to reach returning servicemembers in a cohesive targeted effort. As a result, OCP has partnered with the NJ National Guard to assure access to this component and keeps the Web site and social networking instruments updated to ensure Internet search optimization. Also, the evaluation of retention and persistence is a challenge due to constant deployments, particularly among Guardsmen.
Evaluation Approach:OCP measures enrollment and is beginning to gather GPA data for student evaluation. Dissemination is evaluated by Web hits, Facebook Fans, and Mail Call distribution. Professional development programming is assessed through direct electronic surveying. Research on progress toward degree is provided through the “Completing the Mission Report,” which is now an annual project in collaboration with the Pat Tillman Foundation.The Project Director is responsible for gathering this data.
Potential for Replication:OCP has replicated CVSP programming for the state of Texas and North Carolina with curriculum modifications considering demographics and varying needs. Key framework is largely applicable to varied settings, but adjustments for veteran population size along with the most prevalent branch of service should be considered. With respect to programming for veterans, OCP has targeted Guard members due to their constant deployments. This demographic has been easier to reach in New Jersey than the active-duty component.  Participation in Yellow Ribbon post-deployment programming should be pursued.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Michael Klein , CEOmwklein@njascu.org
(609) 989-1100
Date Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011Date Revised: Thursday, April 12, 2012