Southeastern Council on Military Education


President's Message

Dear Colleagues and SECOME Members,

I’d like to point out why this month is so important. It is the Month of the Military Caregiver and National TBI Awareness Month. Every day, military caregivers serve our nation. Whether it is a wife, a husband, a parent, a friend, or a child, they are heling their Wounded Warrior accomplish every day tasks – something that many of us take for granted. The wounds that they tend to can be physical, but they can also be emotional.

In the classroom it can be pretty obvious on how to accommodate physical disabilities; however it is the invisible wounds that many of our institutions’ faculty and staff lack awareness and knowledge on how to provide accommodations to ensure the success of the student. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) are just two of the many invisible wounds in which our service members and veterans suffer each and every day. Their caregivers are America’s other heroes, and sacrifice a lot to serve their service member or veteran. So as we wrap up this month, I encourage each and every one of you to take a moment to acknowledge the many sacrifices of ALL of our nations’ heroes.   

March’s SECOME newsletter is filled with what we think is valuable information to serve our military-affiliated students. Because this month is so important to our service members and their families, I thought it is the perfect time to officially release SECOME’s Strategic Plan, Advancing Academics to Transform the Future.

We hope that with this plan SECOME can grow stronger to meet its mission, and to serve the military-affiliated student, our stakeholders, and the great states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Best Regards,


Ashley Adamovage


SECOME Strategic Plan

The SECOME Board of Directors is proud to provide you the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan. We hope that this plan will set the future development of the organization to meet the need of our mission:

To promote, support, and deliver quality educational and professional practices within all branches of the Armed Forces by providing innovative and ethical provisions for higher educational institutions, government and state entities.


ACE Training: Creating Effective Academic Policies and Procedures

April 20, 2016

2 - 3:30 p.m.

Online Training

Cost: FREE

Join the webinar discussion to learn how other administrators created effective policies and procedures to support a variety of CPL programs during the 2015-2016 academic year. You will have an opportunity to learn details about which CPL programs they chose based on the specific needs of their institution, their successes with implementation or expansion efforts, and how they addressed barriers to implementation of new programs.

Save the date: NC Women Veterans Summit & Expo

May 25, 2016

NCSU McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education

Raleigh, NC

Save the date: NC STRIVE Conference

June 15, 2016

North Carolina

SECOME Annual Symposium

October 25-27, 2016

The Hilton Savannah DeSoto

Savannah, GA

Register today for the 2016 Annual Symposium and the Hiring & Education Expo! Hurry! Space is limited.

We hope to see you there!


Coast Guard Commandant Calls for Manpower Plus Up

While many military service branches as grappling with manpower cuts, the Coast Guard is looking to expand, Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft said Tuesday.

Speaking at the U.S. Capitol as he delivered his service's annual State of the Coast Guard address, Zukunft paraphrased a line from the 1975 classic "Jaws".

"Looking at the challenges we're facing in the world today: ladies and gentlemen, you're going to need a bigger Coast Guard," he said. Read the entire article here.

Which Colleges Have the Best Veterans Programs?

CollegeRecon identifies 17 key veteran benefits programs that are available on campuses to assist veterans and military personnel.

  1. BAH - The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments you receive for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill are based on the military's Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for an E-5 with dependents. The Department of Defense adjusts the BAH every calendar year (or January 1) based on changes to housing costs across the country. BAH rates for online colleges, schools, or distance learning programs is $754.50. BAH is not paid during summer or winter breaks, but Spring Break counts. Dropping courses can negatively affect BAH payments.
  2. Campus SVA Chapter - SVA chapters are student-veteran groups that have formed on college and university campuses to provide peer-to-peer networks for veterans who are attending those schools. The chapters are designed to be advocates for student veterans, and to help bridge the campus-to-career transition.
  3. Full-Time Veteran Counselor On Campus - A full-time veteran counselor is on campus to offer support and assistance for any array of student-veteran issues. These counselors will assist veterans in a number of ways, including helping them determine which services they need to succeed, and then directing how to engage them.
  4. Signed VA Principles Of Excellence - Educational institutions participating in the Principles of Excellence program agree to follow a set of guidelines pertaining to student-veteran issues. Examples of these guidelines include: Providing students with a personalized form covering the total cost of an education program and designating a point-of-contact for academic and financial advising.
  5. Club/Association For Veterans - These institutions offer student-veteran clubs and associations on their campuses.
  6. Veteran Upward Bound Program - The Veteran Upward Bound Program is designed to motivate and assist veterans in the development of academic and other requisite skills necessary for acceptance and success in a program of post-secondary education. The program provides assessment and enhancement of basic skills through counseling, mentoring, tutoring, and academic instruction in the core subject areas.
  7. 8 Keys To Veterans' Success - The "8 Keys to Veterans' Success" are steps that postsecondary institutions can take to assist veterans and service members in transitioning to higher education, completing their college programs, and obtaining career-ready skills. These postsecondary institutions have voluntarily affirmed their support for the 8 Keys.
  8. Offers ROTC Program -The Reserve Officers' Training Corps is one of the best opportunities for you to get an invaluable experience while you earn a college degree. When enrolled in ROTC you learn and develop leadership skills and prepare for a career as an officer in the U.S. military. You will learn first-hand what it takes to lead others, motivate groups, and how to conduct missions as a military officer.
  9. ACE Credit For Military Experience - The ACE Military Evaluations Program evaluates formal military training in terms of academic credit, allowing thousands of military personnel to earn credit for college-level learning acquired in the military. Your Joint Service Transcript (JST) may be sent as an official document to colleges and universities, at the student's request, for use in the credential evaluation process.
  10. Follow ACE Standards For Credit - ACE's Military Guide presents credit recommendations for formal courses and occupations offered by all branches of the military. All recommendations for credit approval are based on ACE reviews conducted by college and university faculty members who are actively teaching in the areas they review.
  11. Awards Credit For CLEP Exam - The CLEP exams allow Veterans to receive college credit by earning qualifying scores on any one or more of 34 assessments, allowing them to move directly into higher-level courses, saving time and money.
  12. Awards Credit For DSST Exam - DSST (formerly DANTES) are also credit-by-examination tests. Whereas CLEP tests are almost exclusively used for lower-level credit at regionally accredited institutions, DSST's are available for both upper and lower level credit.
  13. In State Tuition Extended For Active Duty - These institutions charge active duty Veterans, regardless of their actual state of residence, no more than the in-state tuition rate for a resident of the state.
  14. Approved For TA Funding - Military Tuition Assistance (TA) is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% of the tuition expenses for its members. Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application process and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services.
  15. Yellow Ribbon Program - Tuition & fees may exceed the amount the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay if you are attending a private school, or are attending a public school as a nonresident student. Institutions participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program make additional funds available for your education program without an additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement.
  16. Scholarships For Military - Apply for a military specific scholarship at these institutions to help drive down the cost of your education.
  17. Reduced Tuition For Military - These institutions offer tuition discounts for members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Today’s Scholars: A closer look at majors that student veterans are pursuing

What came to be called the GI Bill of Rights (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944) would later be referred to as the single most transformative bill of the twentieth century. The bill helped educate an estimated 8 million veterans of “The Greatest Generation,” producing Nobel Prize winners, Supreme Court Justices, three Presidents, Pulitzer Prize winners, teachers, scientists, doctors, engineers, plus a million lawyers, nurses, businessmen, artists, actors, writers, pilots and others in a variety of categories.

Go to the report to see the top majors that student veterans are pursing.


22 Ways to Support Someone With PTSD, From People Who Have It

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Don’t assume because I have PTSD I’m mentally weak. I’m actually strong. I have survived.” — Riley Lee

2. “Just because I haven’t been to war, doesn’t mean I can’t still have PTSD. Keep that in mind.” — Melinda Michelle Tegarden

3. “Respect my space when I decline to do something with you I think will trigger me.” — Ashley Laverdiere

4. “Understand that boundaries are important to me.” — Ashley Brown

5. “Help me make new memories. Focus on the present and finding joy, while being understanding of your symptoms of PTSD.” — Chrissy Borzon Thompson

6. “Help me ground. Speak softly. If I ask, don’t touch me. I’m trying to get control of it, but PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal trauma.” — Nita Daniel

7. “Understand this type of thing doesn’t find a solution overnight.” — Aris Corvin

8. “I’m accepting this as my reality. I’m trying to learn how to work with it instead of against it. Please try to do the same.” — Miranda Tymoschuk

9. “Understand when I don’t want to open up about the trauma I’ve experienced, that doesn’t mean I’m not suffering.” — Emily Waryck

10. “Learn about my triggers. Sit with me without opinions or suggestions. Let me cry on your shoulder. Validate my feelings.” — Claire Leedy

11. “Try not to minimize my feelings or symptoms. They’re indeed real and not imagined.” — Lili Rae

12. “Educate yourself about it.” — Stephanie Funke

13. “Simply listen.” — Kimberly Castro Moreno

14. “My PTSD affects every single part of my life. It has changed me and the way I view everything. Support, comfort and compassion is vital.” — Melissa Davis

15. “Allow me to talk about my past without saying, ‘Stop living in the past.’ A listening ear for the moment is all I need.” — Tatauq Helena Muma

16. “I had a new friend ask me what my triggers were so she could avoid them. She didn’t ask about my traumas out of curiosity, she actually cared and wanted to make sure she doesn’t do or say anything to accidentally trigger me. It was awesome.” — Holly Cooper McNeal

17. “If you don’t understand what it means, please take 10 minutes and look up what it is. Just because my scars aren’t visible doesn’t mean they aren’t there.” — Erin Nichole

18. “Don’t tell me my coping mechanisms are silly or irrational. If I need to sleep with the lights on to avoid flashbacks, let me. If I need to lay on the floor, don’t question me. Allow me to be the judge of what I need. Let me take the lead on where and how I want your support. It may not makes any sense to you, but for me, it’s everything.” — Tori Summerhill Fox

19. “Understand that some situations are scary. I cannot tell you why. It’s just a feeling. If I am emotionally uncomfortable and need to bail, I am not being a baby.” — Marie Duke

20. “Don’t be afraid to talk to me. My fears and panic attacks aren’t contagious. Just simply be there for me.” — Mandy Ree

21. “Understand that my reactions to you or situations may have nothing to do with what’s going on in the present and everything to do with what happened in my past.” — Kristen Rubart

22. “Believe me.” — Tish Patricia Phillips


New tuition assistance portal ranks colleges by soldiers' interests, Army's bottom line

The Army has made big changes to its tuition assistance signup system in hopes of getting soldiers to make more thoughtful and perhaps better choices with TA, but some of the nation's largest TA schools are raising questions about the overhaul.

The new online tool, called Via, quizzes prospective TA students on their interests and needs, then combines that information with data from the Army and federal agencies. Based on this, Via recommends individualized career paths, degrees that will pave the way for such careers, and institutions where the Army thinks its soldiers should pursue those degrees.

Via is required for all new TA users or those changing degree plans, but Army officials stress that soldiers can ignore and override the recommendations. They say Via is a way to inform TA users while making them think about their goals and how TA can bring those goals closer. Read the entire article here.