Virginia Cabinet Members Virginia Secretary of Veteran Affairs and Homeland Security John Harvey and Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson came to the ECPI University, Virginia Beach campus this week, seeking to learn “what’s working” for veterans who are making the transition to civilian life. After touring the campus, they met with members of the University’s Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter.

Looking to find ways to boost graduation rates and employment among Virginia’s veterans, Secretary Harvey, a retired U.S. Navy Admiral, wanted to know why students chose ECPI University. “I work fast,” said Criminal Justice student Athena Williams. “That’s how we worked in the Navy. ECPI University’s five-week terms and year-round schedule work very well for me.”

Network Security student Alaina Mitchell said student services attracted her. “I tried some other schools and filling out all the (military-related) paperwork was like pulling teeth! At ECPI, they guide you right through the process. Also, they really work with you to earn the right professional certifications so you’re more competitive in the job market. There are people here to help you get ready for the test, and you take it right here on campus; and as a student, you get to take those tests at a deeply-discounted rate!”

Both Secretary Harvey and Jackson provided their personal email addresses to the students so they could share additional thoughts. Specifically, they are looking to determine which veteran programs they have utilized on and off campus, which ones have worked and which ones have not? SVA President Susan King says meetings like this one demonstrate what SVA is all about…giving student vets a voice that can be heard by people who can make things better for those who have served.

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