UMUC Receives ACE/Wal-Mart Grant

$100,000 ACE/Wal-Mart Success for Veterans Institutional Award grant will assist veterans transitioning into UMUC


By Kerry O'Neill (koneill@mghus.com) |   May 5, 2009

ADELPHI, Md. (May 5, 2009) – UMUC today announced that it has been awarded a $100,000 grant as part of the American Council for Education (ACE)/Wal-Mart Success for Veterans Institutional Award. UMUC was one of 20 colleges and universities to receive the $100,000 grant, which will support efforts to create online veteran-specific orientation programs, expand on-campus veterans service centers, enhance prospective student outreach efforts and strengthen other veteran services.          

“Given UMUC’s 60 year commitment to serving military students, we are especially pleased and proud to receive this grant, which will allow us to better serve those who serve our country,” said John Jones, UMUC’s vice president for Department of Defense relations. “The support from the Wal-Mart Foundation is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to collaborating with ACE to better assist our veterans as they pursue their education goals.”  

At UMUC, the grant will fund the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of a veterans service model that will integrate comprehensive academic services into a Web-based platform. The goal of the new system will be to make it easier for veterans to make the transition into higher education, and ultimately to increase retention, student satisfaction and degree completion rates.     

At UMUC, the grant will fund the development, implementation and evaluation of two online courses that will help veterans transition into higher education. The first course will assess the students’ readiness for the online classroom and a second course will focus on university services and success strategies designed to improve student success, satisfaction and degree completion rates. The grant will also help fund efforts to inform potential students about UMUC’s veteran services and support.     

The grant awarded to UMUC is part of ACE’s initiative, Serving Those Who Serve: Higher Education and America’s Veterans, which was designed to promote access to and success in higher education for more than 2 million servicemembers and their families who are eligible for benefits under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.    

More than 250 institutions applied for the grant, which was reviewed by a selection committee of higher education leaders, program directors and veterans. Criteria for the grant included sustainability and quality of existing programs, initiatives and strategies for best practices.   

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