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Hunter School of Social Work receives $100,000 ACE/Walmart Grant for Military Veterans

March 10, 2010 | In the News, Programs & Services

The Hunter School of Social Work has won a $100,000 Success for Veterans Award grant from the American Council on Education (ACE) and Wal-Mart. The grant will support Hunter’s ongoing efforts to reach out to veterans on campus, educate them on the variety of benefits available, and keep them in school.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to expand our services,” said Social Work Associate Professor Roger Sherwood. Sherwood said the grant is in collaboration with CUNY’s Office of Veteran’s Affairs.

The grant will allow Hunter to expand veterans’ outreach programs to CUNY community colleges, where most veterans begin their higher education journey, Sherwood said. “We’re very fortunate to have the support of Hunter President Raab and other administrators who have supported our veterans outreach and have dedicated space for us on campus where veterans can go,” Sherwood said.

The funding will allow Hunter to create veterans-specific online orientation programs and increase capacity for counseling and psychological services, and comes on the heels of Hunter’s critical work in veterans’ outreach. In 2007, the School of Social Work launched a dynamic program to help veterans transition to college after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The program is called PROVE (Project for Return and Opportunity in Veterans’ Education), and funding was granted by the City University of New York. CUNY has more than 1,600 full or part-time military veterans (46 percent of whom are women), and is expecting more in the next few years. PROVE hires graduate social work students and student veterans to work with veterans on campus and veteran’s groups. In anticipation of the rising number of returning soldiers, PROVE will have services in place to make sure veterans’ mental health and social needs are met.

The grant was one of 20 awarded to institutions of higher education across the country that operate model programs for veterans and their families. The other recipient institutions are: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California State University, Sacramento; Clackamas Community College; Colorado State University; Empire State University, SUNY; Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey; Fresno City College; George Mason University; Lane Community College; Los Angeles City College; Madison Area Technical College; Onondaga Community College; Park University; Ramapo College; Southwestern College; Trident Technical College; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Maine, Augusta; and University of Maryland, University College.

ACE represents more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. Over the past year, the Wal-Mart Foundation has awarded more than $3.6 million to support education assistance for veterans.

ACE received nearly 250 applications for Success for Veterans Award Grants, which were reviewed by a selection committee of higher education leaders, program and policy directors, and veterans. The grants are part of ACE’s Serving Those Who Serve initiative, a multi-year effort designed to effect major changes in how veterans learn about their education benefits, and how institutional leaders can build capacity to serve veterans on their campuses.