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APSU to receive Veteran Reconnect Grant during Oct. 2 ceremony

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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — The Veteran Reconnect Grant, established by funding from the Tennessee General Assembly, provides funds for the development of new programs designed to promote the success of student veterans. Austin Peay State University is one of 13 institutions in Tennessee to have the distinction of receiving this grant, and will receive $79,954 this fall.

Austin Peay will be presented with this grant at an award ceremony to be held on Monday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. The ceremony will be at 317 College Street, with parking available in the lot adjacent to the building.

The grant is awarded through a competition administered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). The award is recognition of the university’s potential to enhance services and resources to student veterans. Institutions receiving the grants are required to develop and implement new evaluation processes for translating military training into academic credit. Over the next 18 months, THEC will work collaboratively with the institutions to ensure that prospective and incoming student veterans have easy, clear access to information on how their training equates to academic credit.

“Austin Peay will use the Veteran Reconnect Grant to develop a system to evaluate military experience and identify competencies that fulfill student learning outcomes meeting the criteria for awarding academic credit to better support our military and veteran students,” Dr. Kristine Nakutis, executive director of the Austin Peay Center at Fort Campbell, said. “This will standardize credit application across the curriculum and help our students achieve their academic goals sooner.”

In the fall 2016 semester, 1,864 Austin Peay students were military veterans or were currently serving in the armed forces.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Austin Peay will have this financial support to help us better serve our military population that means so much to us and our community,” APSU President Alisa White said.

During the Oct. 2 event, Austin Peay will receive a certificate from THEC recognizing the institution’s award of a Veteran Reconnect grant.

After the ceremony, guests can view an exhibit of ceramic plates created by participants in “Honoring 9/11 through Art and Art Therapy,” a special community art project commemorating the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and honoring those who rose in service and continue to serve as a result of that tragedy. Conceived by Ken Shipley, APSU professor of art, and Melody Shipley, ceramic artist, the project honors Gold Star families, specifically children of fallen soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Program participants created works of art to honor and remember their family members in sessions earlier in September assisted by artists, art students, mental health counselors and graduate students in APSU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission was created in 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly. The Commission develops, implements and evaluates postsecondary education policies and programs in Tennessee while coordinating the state’s systems of higher education, and is relentlessly focused on increasing the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential.

For information on Austin Peay’s Military Student Center, VetSuccess and other opportunities available for military families, visit www.apsu.edu/military.