By K. L. Allen, Director, WGU Ohio
Veterans Day is a time set aside each year to recognize the debt Americans owe to our military heroes of every generation. But of course, this debt is a year-round obligation and one we must recognize with respect and gratitude every day of the year.
In this year of coronavirus and lockdowns that debt takes on extra meaning, knowing we owe an additional measure of gratitude to so many veterans who have returned from the military to continue their heroic service as first responders—police, firefighters, paramedics—or in critical healthcare fields such as nursing. Once again, these veterans are serving on the front lines, but here at home and facing an entirely new set of challenges. Many are working side by side with present-day members of the armed services and National Guard, delivering meals and helping food banks, setting up emergency hospitals, and assisting with virus hotspots in our prisons. We are grateful to them all.
Today at Western Governors University, many of our students are veterans, men and women we are helping to gain the additional education they need to turn their military work experience into an accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree in a broad range of programs. For veterans accustomed to the military’s competency-based instruction methods, WGU’s approach is familiar and they can earn credit toward their degree by demonstrating mastery of a subject from previous work or military experience. There is no need to sit long hours in a classroom, forced to re-learn the things they already know.
This Veterans Day, as we show our gratitude to those who have given so much to our nation, we must never lose sight of the challenges many face when they re-enter civilian life, especially in these uncertain times. For any Ohioan—including veterans—seeking the educational credentials needed to compete for in-demand jobs, Western Governors University can be the perfect resource. And for employers seeking motivated, tested workers with credentialed skills, WGU graduates can be just what they are looking for.