The state recently certified Pellissippi State Community College as a “VETS Campus,” in acknowledgment of the institution’s efforts to ensure veterans experience a successful transition from military service to college enrollment.
“This designation is important because it recognizes Pellissippi State’s commitment to educating our men and women who have served in the military,” said Rachael Cragle. Cragle is Pellissippi State’s Advising director. She also is project director of the grants that help fund a number of the college’s student veteran support projects, including the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center.
“This certification validates all of the work that Pellissippi State has done to establish our Veterans Success Center and to provide support for our student veterans,” said Cragle.
The certification is part of the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act, which was passed into law earlier this year. The VETS Act recognizes colleges that not only deliver services to veterans but also “create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.”
Pellissippi State opened the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center one year ago this Veterans Day (Nov. 11) to provide space for veterans to gather, study, and relax, as well as to have access to advising and mentoring services.
The college provides pre-enrollment services—such as test preparation and help with benefits—through a partnership with the Veterans Upward Bound Program at the University of Tennessee.
The school communicates with its student veterans through email from enrollment to graduation and beyond, with the goals of improving retention rates and identifying situations that might require intervention. Pellissippi State offers veterans credit for military and other career experience through prior learning assessment, or PLA.
The college’s outreach programs to veterans are funded in part by a $37,982 Tennessee Access and Success Network grant and a three-year, $98,000 Tennessee Board of Regents Access and Diversity grant. Community partners include the Knoxville Rotary Club, the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council, and other non-profit and support groups.
For more information about Pellissippi State’s efforts to help student veterans succeed, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.