NOVEMBER 20, 2018 – Navigating the intricacies of higher education can be a challenge – and transitioning service members and veterans have many obstacles to traverse to achieve success – but there is help available.
Melinda Manyx, curriculum program manager, Department of Defense (DoD), Transition to Veterans Program Office (TVPO), spoke to conference attendees at the 2018 National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators (NAVPA) annual conference in Orlando, Florida last month.
NAVPA is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting professional competency and efficiency through an association of members and others associated with and involved in veterans’ education assistance programs.
Manyx spoke to how the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) lays the foundation for transitioning service members to begin their journey into higher education.
“Taking the leap from military service into higher education is a big step, and it’s our goal to ensure that transitioning service members are prepared to meet their individual goals and achieve success based on what they defined in their individual transition plans,” said Manyx.
The TAP curriculum, known as Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, and Success), is a week-long course filled with activities and discussions to help service members walk away with a personalized plan of success. As no two service members have the same transition, there are three additional two-day tracks allowing service members to navigate and explore different paths. One of those additional tracks, Accessing Higher Education (AHE), focuses on just that.
AHE assists transitioning service members and their families in identifying the higher education requirements that support their personal career goals. The workshop is divided into four topic areas: choosing a program of study, selecting an institution of higher education, exploring funding sources, and navigating the admission process.
This workshop is beneficial for both service members attending college for the first time and those applying to graduate school programs. Throughout the workshop, service members have the opportunity to conduct research as each topic is explored and complete a comparison of at least two institutions of higher education.
“Having the opportunity to engage and communicate with representatives at NAVPA is a great opportunity for TVPO,” said Manyx. “There are many local, state, regional and federal organizations that are dedicated to assisting veterans during their transition from military life into the civilian world, and being able to communicate how the DoD lays the foundation of transition is a key goal for TVPO.”
TAP is the result of an interagency collaboration to offer separating service members and their spouses better, more easily accessible resources and information to make their transitions more successful. For more information on TAP, contact a TAP Program Manager on any military installation.