by Linda Frank
The Council of College and Military Educators, best known by its acronym CCME, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging and delivering quality education to servicemembers and their families in all branches of the armed forces.
The organization had its beginnings in California in the early 1970s. A group of education service officers (ESOs) got together to discuss ideas on how to better meet the needs of servicemembers pursuing a college education. This loosely knit group became more organized. In 1973, the California Community Colleges and Military Educators Association (CCMEA) held its first symposium. This marked the beginning of CCME. The present name, Council of College and Military Educators, was adopted at the San Francisco Symposium in 1994. Since its founding nearly 40 years ago, CCME has evolved from being a regional California military education organization to one that is now both national and global in scope.
Today, the CCME membership is made up of both individual and organizational members. There are currently over 160 military and civilian educators and 84 different organizations in CCME. The military educators include chiefs of Voluntary Education, education service officers and education counselors. The civilian educators come from colleges and universities across the country. The 80 institution members include accredited colleges and universities, government organizations and corporate members that provide educational products and services. Each institutional membership comes with 10 memberships for its employees.
Each year, CCME awards 10 $1,000 scholarships: five to servicemembers and five to the spouses of servicemembers. The applicants must be currently enrolled in a regionally or nationally accredited school that is a member institution of CCME. The application requires an essay, copies of transcripts and two letters of recommendation. There are also GPA and credit hour minimums.
This year, the five military scholarships went to students in the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard. They were attending Morehead State University, Troy University, Cochise College and the University of North Florida. The spouse scholarships went to five wives whose husbands were serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and the National Guard. They were attending Columbia College, University of Maryland University College, Old Dominion University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and American Military University.
These scholarships are made possible through the CCME Scholarship Endowment Fund. The fund is maintained through membership dues and corporate, institution and individual contributions. These donations can be given in honor of, or in memory of, individuals or organizations.
Every February, CCME has its annual symposium. Last year, about 1,000 attended the symposium which was held in Tampa, Fla. The 2012 symposium will again be in Florida, moving 85 miles northeast to Orlando. It will be held at the Renaissance Hotel at SeaWorld on February 13-16, 2012. Other timeframes besides February have been considered, but the membership has made it clear that they prefer this winter time slot. The most recent symposiums have been in Nashville, Honolulu, San Francisco, Monterey, Reno, New Orleans and Santa Barbara.
The CCME symposium serves as ideal forum for diverse groups interested in voluntary military education. For example, as I noted in the October issue of MAE, the state Advisory Councils on Military Education (ACMEs) use CCME as their professional development home. The various state ACMEs are able to meet individually and collectively during the symposium. The same is true for the individual service ESOs and counselors. Training sessions take place both before and after the formal conference. Besides sharing best practices, the ESOs and counselors are able to take advantage of the latest information on military education through the general and concurrent sessions. At the 2011 Tampa Symposium, the general sessions provided the attendees with the latest information from the education service chiefs, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Education. There were also numerous general session panels that gave the perspective of the military student, the veteran and the faculty. One of the more popular general session panels was on emerging technologies in education.
A very popular part of the symposium is the concurrent sessions. This past February, there were over 50 concurrent sessions that covered a wide range of subjects. Here, the attendees learned about best practices in teaching and learning, policy updates, developments in online education, special programs for military and veteran students, and changes in financial aid regulations. Between sessions, the attendees visit the exhibit hall, where they find over 100 exhibitors. They provide information on educational programs, services and products that are available to support students in the military, veterans and their families.
Up until three years ago, the CCME president position rotated between government and non-government members. With a legal ruling that employees of the government could no longer serve as voting members on governing bodies, the executive board is now composed of members who come predominantly from academic institutions. The executive board has six elected members: the secretary-elect, the secretary, the vice president-elect, the vice president, the president, and the past president. Each year, there is an election at the annual symposium for the secretary-elect, who serves a two-year term, and the vice president-elect, who serves a four-year term. The secretary-elect automatically moves into the secretary position after the first year. The vice president-elect automatically becomes the vice president after the first year, followed by the president and immediate past president positions. There are also four appointed positions on the executive board. There is a treasurer, an executive officer, a symposium event manager, and a historian. The CCME president relies on a volunteer team of committee chairs to manage a number of functional areas within the organization. These include chairs for concurrent sessions, membership, scholarships, public affairs and awards.
Because CCME is all about providing quality education to our servicemembers, veterans and their families, it is critical that the military still provide input to the CCME board. To meet this important need, there are two government liaison positions to help facilitate communication. Carolyn Baker, chief of continuing education programs OUSD (P&R) MC&FP (Ed Ops), is the DoD liaison. ETCS (SW/AW) Jason Szot of the Learning and Development Division of the Naval Education and Training Command is the armed services liaison. This military position rotates yearly among the services. Last year, it was an Army position held by Amy Moorash of the David L. Stone Education Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. The CCME administration team also includes three other liaison positions: ACME liaison, NAIMES liaison and Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) representative.
While the symposium remains the focus of CCME activities, new venues are being looked at to better serve the military voluntary education community. This past August, CCME had its first-ever webinar. The topic was the Department of Defense’s Memorandum of Understanding with Educational Institutions. Carolyn Baker, chief of voluntary education for the Defense Department, provided an overview of the memorandum, the implementation timelines and how to apply. This was followed by a question and answer session. Given the success of this webinar, many more are already being considered. ♦
|Note From Linda Frank, president of CCME: For this edition of the CCME Grapevine, I would like to thank Dr. Mike Heberling, vice president-elect of CCME and president of Baker College Center for Graduate Studies, for his|
Mar 9, 2016 - Annual Symposium Recognizes Outstanding Achievement
Feb 13, 2015 - Contributions and New Board Members
Sept 8, 2014 - Tee Off for Volunteers of America of Los Angeles
Sept 2, 2014 - Call for Nominations for CCME’s Annual Symposium Awards