VA Commits To Support Classes For Nearly 1,000 Tennessee Veterans

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and U.S. Reps. Diane Black and Phil Roe Tuesday announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had reversed its previous decision not to fund innovative learning support classes for Tennessee veterans pursuing further education under the G.I. Bill.  

The classes – which prepare veterans for college and other higher educational programs using new technologies and approaches to increase graduation rates and reduce costs – are available at 13 community colleges throughout Tennessee and will now receive federal support as other classes do under the G.I. bill. The VA had previously stated it would not provide funding that veterans normally receive under the G.I. Bill for such classes. 

Senator Alexander said, “This is a major victory for veterans in Tennessee who are trying to improve their education – as well as an example of Washington getting out of the way of local decision making and innovation. We owe the men and women of our Armed Services a debt we couldn’t possibly repay, and helping them build new skills and climb the economic ladder is a move in the right direction. I thank Senator Corker and Congressmen Black and Roe for joining in this crucial effort to get Veterans Affairs to reverse its decision.”

Senator Corker said, “Our service members, military retirees and veterans should receive every benefit that America has promised them. I am pleased to have joined my colleagues in urging Veterans Affairs to resolve this issue, and I will continue working to ensure Tennessee veterans have access to the educational resources they have earned.”

Rep. Black said, “I commend the VA for reversing this decision and agreeing to this essential funding to help our Tennessee veterans. We must do all we can to help our nation’s finest receive quality educations and good jobs upon returning from service, and this decision is a necessary step in the right direction. I thank Senators Alexander and Corker and Congressman Roe for their help protecting the best interests of our servicemen, and of our local community colleges as well.”

Rep. Roe said, “Our nation’s heroes deserve the chance to continue their education, and I am proud the VA has recognized that many veterans want to take advantage of these important classes. Each veteran has his or her own unique education needs, and a one-size-fits-all approach dictated by bureaucrats rarely works for any program. I thank Senator Alexander, Senator Corker and Rep. Black for their work to keep Washington from interfering with the education needs of our veterans.”

The learning support classes being utilized by Tennessee’s community colleges are redesigned remedial courses that have been specifically developed to help veterans and other students build the skills they need to be successful in their credit-bearing courses faster than with traditional models.  

The Department of Veterans Affairs had previously classified the classes as “independent study,” which would not qualify for funding under the G.I. Bill.  Senators Alexander and Corker and Reps. Black and Roe aided local community colleges in making the case that the classes – which include classrooms and instructors – are innovative programs that should still qualify for the same support that traditional veterans’ education courses do.

The classes are taught at Chattanooga State Community College, Cleveland State Community College, Columbia State Community College, Dyersburg State Community College, Jackson State Community College, Motlow State Community College, Nashville State Community College, Northeast State Community College, Pellissippi State Community College, Roane State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Volunteer State Community College and Walters State Community College.


Lee Students Present At Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference

Nine Lee University students recently traveled to Union College in Barbourville, Ky., to present original academic research at the 25th annual Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference.  The eight students who presented in the literature panels are Emily Baker, Rebecca Doss, Erin McLaughlin, Jaran Miller, Macy O’Fallon, Maddie Schultz, Alexandra Squires, and Benjamin ... (click for more)

Vital To Address Graduates At CSCC’s Spring Commencement Ceremony

Cleveland State Community College will hold its annual spring Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m. in the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium. Greg A. Vital has been chosen as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. In January 2017, Cleveland State Community College announced the creation of Greg A. Vital Center for Natural Resources and Conservation, the college’s first ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)