Operation College Promise Informing The Next Generation

Posted May 16, 2013

Operation College Promise (OCP) collaborated with Ashford University this month to present the fifth Certificate for Veteran Service Providers (CVSP) training program—a two and a half day event in which college staff and local community veteran service providers come together to help enhance veteran student services on campus. In the past, participants have always proved to be passionate and dedicated in serving this unique population. The attendees from Ashford University were no exception. Not only were they engaged in the presentations, but they went above and beyond to accommodate OCP staff and our distinguished visitors. Ashford was very generous in supporting the program’s needs, exceeding our expectations at every turn. Not only did they provide the participants with free giveaways including tee-shirts from the university store, ball caps and more—but made sure to acknowledge the hard work and planning of OCP’s staff by delivering baked goods and assorted goodies to the staff hotel room!

After experiencing five CVSP programs as OCP’s Outreach Specialist, I can say with certainty Ashford University veteran service providers are no different than those that serve on traditional college campuses. I dare to say, being a veteran service provider at an institution of online earning may be even more challenging, as they rely solely on technologies to reach the veteran population while also dealing with the stigmas that plague the field of veterans attending online, for-profit institutions of higher learning.

If I could offer our readers one thought to take away from this blog; remember that higher education in any format offers students opportunities to grow and become assets to society. The vast student veteran population at Ashford University is not only a portion of this population, but uniquely positioned to set an example as veteran leaders, paving the way for returning veterans to pursue an online degree. However, without the guidance and support of Ashford staff and faculty, student veterans would be disadvantaged while in search of said opportunities. We have heard it takes the strength of our nation’s warriors to uphold freedom and democracy in America. Likewise, it takes strength, dedication, and the ability overcome adversity to serve student veterans in the Post 9/11 era.

Years ago, it was rewarding for me to stand by the side of the men and women onboard ship in the US Navy, no doubt. To my surprise, I felt the same pride as I stood among Ashford’s staff and community leaders, many of which are indeed veterans themselves, during OCP’s fifth CVSP program. I hope we can visit San Diego again in the future, and continue to develop the profound relationships we made with Ashford University.