Clarion University President Karen M. Whitney signed a memorandum of understanding that ultimately will provide higher education to hundreds of veterans. The goal is to expand their career opportunities through their enrollment at the university.
The agreement was signed Jan. 4 at the public launch of United States Veterans Educational Institute, an Altoona organization founded and chaired by Dennis Butts, a decorated, retired Marine who served in Vietnam. USVEI is dedicated to the success of veterans through higher education. Beginning in September 2014, Clarion University will be USVEI’s preferred educational partner. Over the next few months, Clarion faculty and staff and USVEI staff will develop the plan for offering courses and degrees.
Acting on the recommendation of an associate whose spouse is affiliated with Clarion University, Butts contacted Whitney and Dr. Ron Nowaczyk, Clarion’s provost.
“We had some initial discussions on campus the week prior to Christmas to better understand the organization’s needs and for USVEI to learn about Clarion’s capabilities,” Nowaczyk said.
“Working with USVEI is an example of Clarion’s strategic goal of aligning what we do best, teaching and learning, with the corporate and community needs of our region,” Whitney said. “USVEI and Clarion University are both deeply and personally committed to the success of our military personnel and veterans.”
USVEI believes that veterans would benefit from courses and programs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines through online and face-to-face instruction.
The use of video and computer technology enables USVEI students in Altoona to participate in a traditional class in Clarion, as it’s being taught on campus.
USVEI has agreements with other universities for research purposes, but it would like Clarion to be its preferred education provider as well as research partner.
Clarion University has a strong history of working with veterans. It has been recognized as a Military Friendly institution for five consecutive years and has a population of student veterans.