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Professional Associations & Development Opportunities

American Council on Education – Since its founding as an emergency council during World War I, the American Council on Education (ACE) has advocated for policies to ensure that veterans and service members have access to—and the opportunity to succeed in—higher education. The 2008 passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill dramatically expanded these opportunities. In 2022, 800,000 beneficiaries accessed more than $10.5 billion in funding from Veterans Affairs education benefits programs. ACE serves as a valuable resource to federal policymakers in developing and implementing this and other legislation on campuses across the country.

The American Council on Education (ACE) is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities public and private​. Our members educate two out of every three students in all accredited, degree-granting U.S. institutions.

AVECO – Association of Veterans education Certifying Officials – “To prepare and serve administrators and counselors of Veterans’ education benefits in institutions of higher learning and other public and private agencies and organizations engaged in the support and/or administration of Veterans’ education benefits” (AVECO Bylaws, 2010).

We are able to achieve this mission with a great amount of support from the Central (formerly St. Louis) and Buffalo Regional Processing Offices. Our training conference is a collaboration of VA officials, Education Liaison Representatives, State Approving Agencies, institutions, and many experts in the military and Veteran arena. Thank you to all who contribute to making our conferences a success.

AVER – American Veterans for Equal Rights – There is a strong bond in the military, a bond that most people do not understand. Veterans stick together… Veterans understand each other, but not all straight veterans are willing to extend that understanding and acceptance to LGBT Vets. And the LGBT community has not always been especially welcoming to members of the military or proud Veterans. AVER is the place where the two come together. In AVER we understand each other as Veterans, AND we understand each other as LGBT people, with all the mutual challenges that come with each identity. As we examine our on-going mission to be of service to LGBT Veterans and Service Members, we need to keep our unique position in mind. Each of us found our home. We should strive to “be” home for those “coming” home.

CAEL – Council for Adult and Experiential Learning – CAEL’s Veterans Higher Education Affinity Group, or VHEAG, is a collaborative network of professionals representing nearly 40 veteran-serving academic institutions that works to dismantle barriers Chicagoland student veterans face when pursuing a postsecondary education.

CAEL helps organizations succeed among accelerating changes reshaping education and employment landscapes. We build and lead inclusive partnerships that result in agile, responsive pathways linking learning and work. By helping diverse organizations find common cause in adult learners and workers, we keep education and training providers aligned in real time, sustain healthy talent pipelines, and support enrollment in education and training programs, from badges and microcredentials to certificates and advanced degrees.

Whether building programs that validate the lived experiences of individual learners or creating education and training alliances that span entire industries, we focus our expertise and resources on ensuring adult learners and workers can navigate the on- and off-ramps between education and employment in ways that drive equitable economic mobility and community prosperity.

CCME – Council of College and Military Educators – A not-for-profit organization, that was founded almost 50 years ago to promote, encourage, and deliver quality education to service members and their families in all branches of the armed services. Its membership is principally composed of military educators, civilian educators, post-secondary educational institutions, and suppliers of quality education products and services. The CCME symposium is the largest annual forum in the country with an expected attendance of about 1,000 participants. The annual symposium facilitates the networking and interaction of the key leadership across these organizations in an environment that is focused on enhancing and optimizing voluntary education opportunities for the service member and their families.

Minority Vets – MVA programs operate around the country to provide unique opportunities for engagement and growth for minority veterans. Our programs support social engagement and community connection, financial stability, leadership development, and greater access to critical systems and services that our communities need most.

NASPA – Veterans Knowledge Community – The Veterans Knowledge Community is the national leader in supporting the generation and dissemination of knowledge in support of the college success of student veterans.  Practitioners and scholars alike will find an engaging home among this caring group of professionals and scholars.  Please consider joining in our leadership team within your region or at the national level through Volunteer Central. Additional professional development opportunities offered through NASPA’s annual Symposium on Military-Connected Students.

NAVPA – National Association of Veteran Program Administrators – Dedicated to helping our nations’ veterans and their families achieve their educational goals. NAVPA is an established and recognized organization. As such, it has direct contact with and input to the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, American Association of Community and Junior Colleges, the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, and other professional organizations.

NAVPA provides testimony at congressional hearings, monitors and provides input to lawmakers and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on matters that relate to veteran’s educational benefits.

Student Veterans of America – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders -Through a network of nearly 1,600 on-campus chapters, Student Veterans of America® ensures that student veterans and military-connected students achieve their greatest potential

Veterans Studies Association – The Veterans Studies Association promotes and publishes rigorous scholarship about critical issues shaping veterans’ experiences—in any country and any historical era—to enhance public understanding, teaching, service, and advocacy.