Shepherd University accepted the 5 Star Challenge—an initiative that encourages all of West Virginia’s two- and four-year institutions to adopt a set of standards to help veterans achieve an education. The 5 Star Challenge is an initiative of the Office of Veterans Education and Training Programs within the Division of Student Affairs at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS). It is a tribute to the military tradition of issuing “challenge coins” to service members who embody the values and standards of their military units.
In addition to issuing the challenge to campuses, the HEPC and WVCTCS are committing to providing more resources to help student veterans navigate the higher education system and find support on campus and in the community.
At a campus Veterans Day ceremony, Dr. Sylvia Manning, interim president, announced two significant university actions to assist Shepherd’s student veterans. Manning said the university will complete renovations on a Shepherd property that will serve as a new center for student veterans. The Free School will be a dedicated space for student veterans with furnishings for both social engagement and learning activities. Manning also announced that effective this semester, student veterans are eligible for priority registration when signing up for classes at Shepherd. With priority registration, student veterans will be able to better manage their family and work obligations with a Shepherd education.
In accepting the 5 Star Challenge, Shepherd is committed to:
- Providing a signed commitment from Interim President Sylvia Manning to adopt best practices and standards.
- Emphasizing a focus on increasing access and affordability to higher education for student veterans.
- Providing increased academic support, including priority registration for classes.
- Enhancing social networks for veterans on campus.
- Encouraging greater collaboration with community organizations working to meet the needs of military service members.
A detailed outline of the challenge can be found at www.cfwv.com, the state’s free college and career-planning website.