OCTAE Connection - October 30, 2014 - Issue 218

OCTAE Newsletter

October 30, 2014 


8 Keys to Success: Helping Veterans Transition Into the Job Market 

As the number of veterans moving from military service to civilian life will increase substantially over the next several years, the Obama administration is continuing its efforts to make these transitions smoother and more productive.  A part of these efforts is the administration’s ongoing support of the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success initiative that was initiated a little over a year ago. The 8 Keys are specific actions that colleges and universities can take to make veterans feel welcome on their campuses and in their programs, and to promote their success in transitioning to employment.  They are:

  • Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans.
  • Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.
  • Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.
  • Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space.
  • Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans.
  • Use a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion.
  • Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.
  • Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans.

To assist in developing these keys, the Department of Education enlisted more than 100 experts to evaluate approaches and training that can be replicated across campuses and distance learning programs.  These services enhance veterans’ success as they strive to become career-ready and improve their employment prospects, and help them to earn degrees, certificates, and licenses.

Recently, Department of Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell and Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary Allison A. Hickey sent a joint letter to institutions of higher education encouraging them to affirm their support for the 8 Keys. ED and Veterans Affairs continue to welcome the endorsements of external partners, in addition to the approximately 1,200 institutions that support this initiative.

To learn more about this initiative, please contact Isabel Soto at Isabel.Soto@ed.gov.

Concurrently, the administration recommends that colleges and universities subscribe to the Principles of Excellence program.  This program, collaboration between the departments of Defense, Education, and Veterans Affairs, offers guidelines for educational institutions receiving funding from the Veterans Administration.  To enroll, please email principles.excellence@va.gov

U.S. Mobile Device and Home Internet Use is on the Rise: Implications for Learners

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently released a report on mobile Internet device use. It found that Americans are “rapidly embracing mobile Internet devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers, for a wide range of activities beyond just voice communications, such as checking email and using social networks.” Entities providing and coordinating services for youths and adult learners may find the report findings informative in planning and structuring communications services for these populations. 

NTIA’s “Exploring the Digital Nation: Embracing the Mobile Internet,” is based on a U.S. Census Bureau survey from October 2012, of more than 53,000 households. According to the report, Americans are increasingly using their mobile devices for activities that they might previously have done on a computer, or not done at all. Findings revealed that between July 2011 and October 2012 there were significant increases among mobile phone users, ages 25 and older, who used their devices to download mobile applications, browse the Web, check email, and use social networks. Although mobile internet use is more prevalent among groups with higher incomes and educational attainment, and those living in urban areas, this is rapidly changing. Most noteworthy, the mobile usage gap between whites and minorities appeared to “nearly vanish” between 2011 and 2012, as shown in Figure 2 from the report, below.Click to edit this placeholder text.

family income

Please see the full report for more detailed information on these and additional findings on mobile device and Internet use, including demographics and geographic location information. Also recommended for further reading is information on programs focused on expanding access to broadband and on encouraging its adoptionIn addition, the NTIA broadband adoption toolkit, details best practices that organizations can use to help encourage Internet use. 

Readers are encouraged to see how OCTAE is working to address the digital divide for our learners through providing opportunities for low-cost Internet and devices, partnering with public libraries, and clarifying guidance for schools on the purchase and support of technology for teaching and learning.

Correction: In the October 2, 2014 edition, the number of online course certificates earned by users of the LINCS.ed.gov platform was incorrectly listed. The correct number is 2,100+. We regret the error.