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CCME Grapevine 2015 March

MAE 2015 Volume: 10 Issue: 3 (April)

The Growth of Military Education and Role of CCME by Mebane Harrison

Having been with Army and Navy Education for a combined total of thirty-eight years, it has been my pleasure and privilege to see enhanced changes in military education and in the organization now called the Council and College and Military Educators (CCME). What was once a group of less than one hundred educators has blossomed into the hundreds we experience today at our annual professional development symposium.

We began first as a military educator and Junior College organization in California back in the 1970’s, but soon realized that there were people coming from more distant shores. That led to the expansion of our organization to much of the West Coast up to Washington State, and finally the decision to go global. With a plethora of acronyms, we settled on the Council of College and Military Educators, which better explains our current composition,

What was once a venue for a handful of vendors attending our conferences has expanded to close to one hundred in strength, to include more than just college and university exhibitors? Over the years, we have also seen an expansion of concurrent sessions, so that a wide variety of topics pertinent to college and military educators and students can be addressed. Becoming global also allowed for our professional development symposiums to be held in large hotels in warmer climates to take advantage of good weather.

We have been happy to see the addition of military members in our conferences and are now able to recognize military members, veterans, and spouses, with special CCME scholarships. With the creation of our scholarship fund and the support of our sponsors, we can expect that tradition to be a growing part of our philanthropy to deserving students.

In my opinion, military education is where the rubber meets the road. I have been aware for years that there is a growing emphasis on advanced education for our troops, both on our aircraft carriers and on our military bases. The desire for the military student to achieve and be prepared for a job after the service has increased participation in degree programs all over the world under the auspices of the Education Centers on all our military installations.

When physical courses are not available, service members have many on-line possibilities to pursue a degree. Although there are current government caps on tuition assistance, service members can often pursue degree programs by augmenting their government tuition assistance with scholarships and grants.

CCME has become a highlight of the year for many military educators. Participation varies year to year, but the exchange between colleges, universities, military educators and students, and now associated businesses, is a vital connection, allowing an easy exchange of ideas. Coming together allows participants to share in both innovations and enhancements in education. Having each Military Education Department Head review a year’s progress is met with expectation and anticipation of things to come.

When CCME started its journey, computers were just beginning to be important; so much of what was done was paper-based. Now much of what is accomplished is by computer, which has changed the academic environment and made it easier to navigate course content. The first year CCME invited vendors to its conventions in 2001, there were a total of thirteen vendors, a far cry from what we experience today. CCME has truly become a focal point for a variety of programs and services tied to higher education for our military members.

In the years that come, our hope is that military education will remain a significant drawing card for young men and women to enlist and benefit from the availability of further education. Quality education is the goal for our troops and for their accompanying spouses. Working together through CCME and through a number of other similar state organizations provides the exchange needed to ensure that service members will benefit from the exchange of ideas and new developments in education.

Whether you are currently a college. University, or military education staff member, or a service member looking for an interchange of ideas, we invite you to join our organization and attend our convention next year in San Antonio. Our web site is www.CCMEonline.org or you can direct specific questions or requests for additional information to publicaffairs@ccmeonline.org.

Jeff Cropsey Note from Jeffrey Cropsey, CCME President: CCME thanks Mebane Harrison,
CCME President Emeritus for her article on the background of CCME
and expansion of military voluntary education.

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