Task force addresses degree completion for military families

-A A +A

Group makes five recommendations

By Kelly Cantrall

A state education work group is looking to ease the road to degree completion for military families.

Five recommendations to increase college enrollment and completion among military spouses recently were presented to the Council on Postsecondary Education by the Postsecondary Education Work Group to the Military Spouse Task Force of Kentucky. The recommendations are in draft form and later will be presented to the task force.

The five draft recommendations are:

  • To revise state law to allow higher education institutions, if they choose, to charge in-state tuition rates to spouses or dependents using Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.
  • To publicize federal and state benefits available to military spouses who are continuing their education.
  • To include information for military spouses on websites for public universities and other organizations such as the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
  • To promote to military families online degree options because of their flexibility.
  • To implement the Eight Keys of Success, developed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to welcome military families.

The Military Spouse Task Force was created in 2011 to assist military families in the unique difficulties they face, according to the recommendations report. The Postsecondary Education Work Group was formed in 2012 to make recommendations to the task force about the continuing education of military spouses.

Two national reports found military spouses’ educations often are disrupted by moves, deployments of their spouses, difficulty in transferring credits or a lack of awareness of the benefits they can receive, among others, according to the recommendations report.

The work group is led by Marlane Youngblood, a strategic planner for the Governor’s Office of Military Affairs and who previously worked for Elizabethtown Independent Schools.

Youngblood said she preferred to comment when recommendations were passed.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.