Dr. James Wilburn, director for military academic programs and Ken Harrison, academic program manager were presented with the 2018 Malcolm Knowles Award at the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) conference on Oct. 4 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Photo courtesy of the AAACE.
The Veterans Education Training and Transition Program (VET²), offered by Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), was selected by the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) for the 2018 Malcolm Knowles Award.
Teams or individuals that earn this award are recognized by the AAACE for outstanding adult education program leadership and for demonstrating effectiveness, relevancy, creativity, immediacy, institutional cooperation or collaboration, and legislative impact.
VET² was launched to train and transition active duty service members, veterans, and military spouses into civilian careers through professional education programs combined with internships. The program provides multiple benefits to service members including feedback on job performance and their marketability, and networking opportunities with cohort members and employers, among others.
Free to service members, the program originally piloted in 2013 for veterans and opened up to active duty military members and military spouses in 2015. All active duty service members and veterans with at least four years of honorable service are eligible for this intensive, hands-on internship-to-employment program.
“We’re honored to be recognized by the AAACE for the VET² program, which is the first of its kind in the United States,“ said Nelson Baker, dean of GTPE. “It has proven success with 87 percent of graduates receiving full-time job offers from participating companies.”
The program has a 95 percent completion rate, and enrollments have doubled every year since its launch in 2013.
“It is truly an honor to receive the Malcolm Knowles award,” said James Wilburn, director of military programs and creator of the VET² program. “When I first started this program five years ago, I could not have imagined how impactful it would be on our military service members and their families.”
Service members value the program for enabling them to adjust to the civilian workforce and to appeal to potential employers. Graduate Vincent Hoover, for example, credits the VET² program for his ability to compete with other candidates at a job fair, where he was offered several positions, and stand out to employers at the event.