On this Veterans Day, I can’t help but think of the family members like you that support modern day heroes, and all the sacrifices you endure. To honor all military spouses, Bryant & Stratton College is recognizing the spouses of those that serve by increasing the Salute to Spouses Scholarship Program to now include National Guard and Reserve spouses. The hardships they bear when their husband/wife deploys from their home community is just as difficult as the hardship experienced by spouses of active duty service members. At Bryant & Stratton College we appreciate those sacrifices, and want to give back to those who give. We are proud to extend the scholarship to all spouses and hope that it will make a college education possible for more of you since the scholarship is for online programs, which can be completed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
I would also like to take a moment and thank all of our military spouse students for the great work they have done over the past year. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to teach several courses, and have had many spouses in my classes. They have been some of my best students because of the experiences, perspective, and effort that they put into their coursework. I hope that the expansion of the program to now include National Guard and Reserve spouses will increase the number of great students that we have at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
As a final thought, in celebration of Veterans Day today, and everyday, we offer the sincerest thanks to all who serve and their families. Thank you for all you do to make this nation and the world a safer place.
BUFFALO, NY — Bryant & Stratton College Online announced today that it has again been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine. Only 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools are awarded this distinction. The list was created so that service members and military veterans can easily find schools that offer the best education, value and welcome. The G.I. Jobs list includes state universities, private colleges, community colleges and trade schools. Methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators from schools across the country.
“We are humbled to be again named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine, especially since this year’s list considered veteran feedback,” said Scott Traylor, Associate Campus Director for Online Education at Bryant & Stratton College. “We feel that it is our duty to do what we can to help service members, military veterans and their families receive the education they need to succeed, in an environment that understands their unique circumstances.”
G.I. Jobs Magazine selected schools following extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 8,000 schools nationwide. Bryant & Stratton College Online was selected because it offers scholarships and discounts, has a veteran’s club and a full-time staff member dedicated to helping students with military experience. Examples of ways Bryant & Stratton College Online supports its military students and their families are below: Read More
Bryant & Stratton College Online would like to take a moment to thank those in our student community that currently serve, have served, and those who support our military as the Memorial Day weekend comes to a close. We greatly appreciate the commitment, dedication and service of our military students, and we are proud to have them as part of the Bryant & Stratton College Online community.
“For me, Memorial Day is an important tribute to those men and women that made America what it is today through their sacrifices,” said Ed Dennis, Military Relations Manager. “Although we are an online campus, I have gotten to know some of our military students very well and continue to be impressed with how they balance their school work with their military service.”
“I couldn’t possibly list all the achievements of our students, but would like to recognize a few,” Ed went on to say. “Jennetta, one of our spouse students, is a great student that is not only a mother, but a full time student who consistently receives an A in her courses. I had the pleasure of meeting her, and was truly impressed by her drive to excel in school. Ryan, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, provides inspiration for others by truly leading by example. He is not only an NCO responsible for completing his duties, but made the choice to move from being a part time student to full time this semester while serving active duty. Lauren provides a great example of our National Guard Soldiers that continue to manage their families, work, and college. She is on track to be our first National Guard Online Campus Graduate. A couple weeks ago, I was able to meet Shay, a veteran and student, for the first time in person. She is very passionate about achieving high grades in the classroom and setting up our Student Veterans Group. Anyone who has the chance to talk with her will quickly realize that she is very driven and wants to be a force for positive change. It is an honor to get to know each of you.”
From all of us here at Bryant & Stratton College Online, THANK YOU for your service!
Christopher “Chrissy” Miller
Students create network to help online military students, veterans and their families find success in school and the workplace
BUFFALO, NY (May 31, 2011) – Bryant & Stratton College Online announced today the formation of Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online, a support network for students who have served in the U.S. military, are currently serving, their families and civilian supporters. The student-led group will focus on building upon available resources that make success in the classroom and workplace more attainable.
The group is being started by student and veteran Shay Leech, who served in the U.S. Navy. Leech saw the opportunity to start a peer-to-peer network that would provide resources, support and advocacy to her military classmates and their families. She is currently pursuing an Associate’s degree in Medical Reimbursement and Coding at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
“Too often veterans who start college drop out because of a lack of support. While Bryant & Stratton College Online already provides resources to help military students and veterans continue with their education, I wanted to form a group so veterans and active duty students would have a community where we could support each other as well,” said Leech. “In my experience it is hard to be in college as a mother, but it is even harder to be a veteran, since it is difficult for others to relate to what you’ve been through unless they’ve gone through it too. Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online will provide that extra fellowship and understanding for students who know what it is like being active duty or veterans.”
The goal of Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online is to assist and guide military and veteran students through their education and career. The group’s meetings will focus on advocacy, social opportunities and recreational activities as a means of fostering camaraderie among the students. Student Veterans will also work with the college administration to meet the needs of current and prospective student veterans as well as increase community awareness of veterans’ experiences. Students interested in becoming members are encouraged to join the group on LinkedIn, which is where Student Veterans will be connecting online.
“We are committed to supporting our military and veteran students that have given so much for this country,” said Ed Dennis, Military Relations Manager at Bryant & Stratton College Online. “Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online will be a touchstone for these students, a support network they can count on to help them succeed.”
Once Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online is established, Leech plans to apply to make the group an official chapter of Student Veterans of America, a coalition of student veterans groups on college campuses across the United States.
Bryant & Stratton College Online is proud to support the troops and their families. Last fall, G.I. Jobs Magazine named Bryant & Stratton College Online a 2011 Military Friendly School. As a member of the Service members Opportunities College (SOC) consortium*, Bryant & Stratton College is also an approved institution for the training of U.S. veterans and their family in accordance with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Bryant & Stratton College Online is CLEP, DANTES, ECE and other SOC Colleges approved.
In April, Bryant & Stratton College Online launched www.SalutetoSpouses.com, a career and education information resource website for military spouses. SalutetoSpouses.com is the home of the college’s Salute to Spouses Scholarship, which awards $6,000 towards a Bryant & Stratton College Online degree to spouses of active duty military personnel. The expansion of the site builds on the success of the scholarship and increases the resources available to military spouses interested in earning their degree or building a sustainable career. The content on SalutetoSpouses.com, includes how to articles, tips, advice columns and personal accounts and is created and edited by military spouses.
Bryant & Stratton College was founded in 1854 and is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. For more information about Bryant & Stratton College and its online degree programs, visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu.
*The Bryant & Stratton College-Virginia Beach campus is also a SOCNAV and SOCAD consortium member.
To view the full press release, click here.
Ed participated in the 2011 Storm the Hill as an individual veteran, not as a representative of the College. He was part of a select group chosen from hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans across the country that applied to participate in Storm the Hill 2011. The group was made up of individuals with a diverse array of military service and personal experience who offered lawmakers a unique understanding of the issues facing the veterans’ community. Bryant & Stratton College Online is proud of his dedication to the veterans’ community as well as active-duty and military students.
Read more about his Storm the Hill 2011 experience below:
I just returned from actively participating in Storm the Hill 2011: (www.stormthehill.org) which is sponsored by IAVA, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of today’s veterans, as part of an advocacy team focused on veterans’ employment issues. In 2010, the unemployment rate for veterans was 11.6 percent, compared to the national average of 9.7 percent.
The event discussed IAVA’s 2011 Policy Agenda, which addressed the most urgent challenges facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. IAVA annually surveys 90,000 Member Veterans and drafted the priorities from the survey results as well as in coordination with partner Veterans Service Organizations and community-based nonprofits nationwide.
As an Iraq war veteran, I feel fortunate to have participated in this great event to increase awareness with our nation’s leaders about the unemployment challenges facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Times are tough for everyone, but veterans are more likely to be unemployed than Americans as a whole. Education and employment opportunities are essential for today’s veterans to be the next ‘Greatest Generation.’ Unfortunately veteran unemployment has been above the national average for a couple of years. If this trending in the unemployment rate continues, we will fall behind our peers and the leadership and management abilities gained by those who served our country won’t be maximized in order to take America out of our current financial crisis.
- Ed Dennis , Military Relations Manager
Just in time for Military Spouse Appreciation Day, which is Friday, May 6, we are excited to announce today the expansion of our website www.SalutetoSpouses.com, as the new go-to resource for education and career news for military spouses.
Home of the college’s Salute to Spouses Scholarship, which awards $6,000 towards a Bryant & Stratton College Online degree to spouses of active duty military personnel, SalutetoSpouses.com is now also an online community that spouses can join to read the latest articles on careers and education as well as participate in a wide variety of forums.
Edited by a military spouse, with contributing writers who are military wives as well, SalutetoSpouses.com is sponsored by Bryant & Stratton College Online’s military relations department and features weekly polls, how to articles, tips, resources, advice columns, personal stories, and financial aid options for military spouses.
“As military spouses, we understand the challenge of earning a degree or navigating the competitive job market while caring for your military family,” said Allison Perkins, Editor at SalutetoSpouses.com. “SalutetoSpouses.com is a community where military spouses can find support, information and resources tailored to their unique needs.”
SalutetoSpouses.com will engage its user community on a variety of topics through forums and blogs. Registered community members will also be able to receive a monthly newsletter that keeps them aware of new content that has been added to the site that month.
Bryant & Stratton College Online created the Salute to Spouses scholarship after the U.S. government temporarily suspended and later reinstated a restructured MyCAA in 2010. The expansion of the site builds on the success of the scholarship and increases the resources available to military spouses interested in earning their degree or building a sustainable career.
“We understand the commitment and sacrifices that military spouses make. We are proud to support them with the Salute to Spouses scholarship and now with SalutetoSpouses.com, which will help by providing critical information on career and education issues specific to their experience as a military spouse,” said Ed Dennis, Military Relations Manager at Bryant & Stratton College Online. “Creating a portable and sustainable career is incredibly important for military spouses and often requires advanced education, but a college degree is now more accessible than ever to military spouses.”
For more information about participating in the Salute to Spouses community and applying for the scholarship visit www.SalutetoSpouses.com and take a look around!
Ed Dennis joined Bryant & Stratton College Online in June 2010 to lead the Military Relations Department at Bryant & Stratton College Online. Prior to this, he served for 21 years in the United States Army, starting as a Private and retiring as a Major. Throughout his career he used the Army Continuing Education System to continuously develop himself personally and professionally. His extensive knowledge and first-hand experience with the armed forces brings invaluable expertise to Bryant & Stratton College to support the needs of active duty , veteran and military spouse students.
Tell us about your military background.
ED: I entered the Army as an enlisted military policeman in 1989, and served in four different units before attending OCS (Officer Candidate School). Upon completion of OCS, I was commissioned as an Ordnance Officer and served as a maintenance officer for four years before attending EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) training. I spent the remaining 9 years of my career as an EOD Officer both overseas and in the United States until I retired in 2010. In that time, I served in leadership positions from team leader to Commander, with three years as an Instructor/TAC (Trainer Advisor Counselor) for LT’s and CPT’s in the Ordnance Corps. I found joy in teaching others, and now continue utilizing that passion as an Adjunct Professor for Bryant & Stratton College Online.
Upon retirement from the Army, I wanted to enter a career that assisted fellow veterans and provided a sense of fulfillment. I had already served 21 years in the Army, and respect the work that is done by the Department of Defense Civilians, but wanted to apply my skills in the private sector. Throughout the job search process, I had to choose which path I wanted to take. My interview with Bryant & Stratton College Online really impressed me and the following dialogue with senior managers reassured me that this was the direction that I wanted to pursue.
Tell us about your work in the Military Relations Department at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
ED: Bryant & Stratton College Online understands that military servicemen and women have unique lifestyles and that they need personalized attention. They looked to me for guidance on how to help meet those needs. I approached this with three goals in mind: continuously improve our internal procedures, provide staff education and training, and form strong relationships with ESO’s (Education Service Officers). Since I served for more than two decades in the military, I know first-hand that career and education are two important (and often challenging) issues for military students and their families. I first took a look at the internal procedures and policies currently in place and how it related to the process military members use to request tuition assistance, in order to make that process as military friendly as possible for them. In addition, I looked at the policies for withdrawal, deployment, and any other unique circumstances service members could face.
I then worked with the senior leaders at Bryant & Stratton College Online, to update the policies to benefit service members, family members, and Veterans. Based on the new changes, classes were developed and staff training began. My goal was to not only inform the staff of the new changes, but also give them a lesson in Military 101.
Finally, once our internal procedures were in place and the staff informed about military affiliated students, I started to work on building relationships with the ESO’s by attending service level education events to meet with Education Service Officers and share with them the opportunities for service members and families at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
How can you help not only military service members but also their families in their education journey?
ED: With the high OPTEMPO (Operational Tempo), the military focuses much more on families than they did when I started in 1989. This is because it is not only the service member, but the family that endures the hardships of deployment. There is a very valid concern among spouses that they may need to enter the workforce at some point due to family support issues, or they desire to enter the workforce for personal and family goals. I think that in many cases it is harder for spouses during deployments, so I treat them the same as I would a service member or veteran when providing assistance.
Why is Bryant & Stratton College Online perfect for military families?
ED: Bryant & Stratton College Online provides a high level of support to all students and strongly believes in personalized education. This fits well with military families because there is accountability at every level. Students are not referred to a bank of “Academic Advisors,” but instead they are given an assigned Academic Advisor who focuses on guiding that student in achieving their personal career and educational goals while they are enrolled with Bryant & Stratton College Online. In addition, we are a career college that focuses on high academic standards. For students this translates into being better prepared for the career field they want to enter, and a higher degree of success. Finally, we offer several portable degrees that adapt well to the constant moves that military families face every couple of years.