Action 1: Encourage the Department of Education to adopt a transferability policy for its institutions to accept credits for military spouses who transfer due to PCS orders.
While all classes may not translate to an exact course, at the very least they can be accepted as a completed elective. It will save military families time and money. Current action: We are working with the MSJDN on a policy letter to the Department of EDU.
Action 2: Establish a Volunteer Experience to College Credit Program (VECC)
Military spouses volunteer within their branch family readiness programs, within nonprofit organizations, and within their communities. Often, that volunteerism equates to valuable skill sets that can be translated to college credit. Next step: Draft a policy letter to the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, and Navy encouraging them to adopt this program through the American Council on Education.
Action 3: Childcare Tax Credit for Military Friendly Centers
Childcare is a top hurdle of spouses who are seeking their education. We are balancing family commitments along with work and school. The goal is to work with NACCRRA on establishing a tax credit for those quality childcare centers that provide a tuition discount to spouses who are enrolled in a full time program.
The Antics of a Non-Traditional Student, by Bianca Strzalkowski, Contributor to the Huffington Post.
College looks much different to me today than when I was 19, rolling out of my dorm room just in time for class and eating Pop Tarts for dinner. My biggest responsibility back then was getting to the dining hall before they stopped serving tacos. Today, I am slow crawling my way through my senior year of school, after a decade of balancing academics around life happening. Read More
Ensuring Military Spouses Get the Education They Want and Deserve by Bianca Strzalkowski, Contributor to the Huffington Post.
In 1999, as an energetic teenager, I started college in New Jersey. At the time, my now-husband was going through boot camp and his initial training in the Marine Corps. My desire to be where his boots were planted led me to a second college, just a year later. The rest of my educational story sounds the same, transfer upon transfer because of military moves or dropping a semester entirely because of life happening. Read More
With her own student experience as a reference, she wanted to create a platform that would coincide with her own journey with completing her education and the voice of her peers'. She began meeting with decision makers of the Department of Defense, Congress, and private organizations. However, the greatest insight for the MSEI has come from YOU! Through your feedback and openness about the specifics of your hardships, the below 3 components have become the centerpiece of the Initiative's work today.
Bianca Strzalkowski is a freelance writer and current student at UMUC. She is a proud Marine Corps wife of 13 years, and in 2011 she was named the Military Spouse of the Year. As a mother of three, Bianca has spent her time volunteering with various organizations, such as the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network, National Military Family Association and the Marine Corps’ Family Readiness program. Because of her volunteerism, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Amos, awarded her with a Certificate of Commendation.
In July 2011, utilizing her own student experience as a reference, Bianca became an advocate for the Military Spouse Education Initiative. She believes that it is possible for spouses to achieve their own goals around the diverse obstacles of military life. To date, she has worked with officials from the Departments of Defense and Labor, Congressional leadership, and the Joining Forces Initiative to work on the increasing need of educational opportunities for her peers.
In addition to advancing programming for spouses, Bianca has appeared in media interviews, such as Fox & Friends and CNN Newsroom, and is a guest writer for The Huffington Post, Military Spouse magazine, and the Marine Corps Association. Currently, she is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, Jacksonville, NC where she serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Military Family Advisory Network.
Her contact information is: Bianca@milspouseeducation.org or on Twitter @BiancaSki
In July 2011, the MSEI was created after an overwhelming number of spouses began to share their educational challenges with Bianca Strzalkowski, who was serving as the 2011 Military Spouse of the Year.
Military Spouses of Strength is a national nonprofit organization with a mission
to improve the health and overall wellness within the military community.
Since the beginning of 2015 MSoS has taken more of a holistic approach to the resources that we provide to you; this means we aren't just focusing on mental health, but overall well being specifically: Mind, Body, and Spirit. Because of this we are ECSTATIC to announce that MSoS will now be the proud home of the Military Spouse Education Initiative (MSEI).
This initiative supports military spouses through their educational journey. All to often, as military spouses, are tasked with putting their educational pursuits on hold while their service member pursues their career aspirations. MSEI empowers military spouses with the knowledge that both their service members career and their individual educational pursuits can be managed. Making for a healthier family life balance. You will find all the MSEI educational resources have been moved to our website and you will to see even more resources, information and blog posts related to education. We hope that you will join us in our excitement, peruse this resource and provide honest feedback.
DISCLAIMER: MENTAL HEALTH WARNINGS AND DISCLAIMERS Military Spouses of Strength (MSoS), its facilitators and owners provide an informational peer formatted website. The resources available on this Website are provided for educational and supportive purposes only; are not intended to be used in place of personal and face-to-face consultation with a specialized trained and professional health care or mental health care professional. READ FULL DISCLAIMER
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