Denise Rodak, coordinator of Veteran and Military Resources at Montclair State University, has been appointed to a two-year term on Operation College Promise’s (OCP) National Advisory Council. Founded in 2008 by the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, OCP offers centralized information about programs and services for service members to help them succeed academically.
“I am honored that I was selected to serve on the National Advisory Council. I look forward to continuing to advocate for veteran and military students both here on campus and at the national level,” said Rodak, whose office is part of the Center for Advising and Student Transitions.
Serving on the Advisory Council are approximately 15 individuals from different geographic regions, including experts in areas such as higher education, veterans’ services, and education benefits.
In related news, OCP and the Pat Tillman Foundation recently announced the results of a study that measured the progress of military-affiliated students in earning their degrees. Montclair State was one of six universities in the study considered among the leaders in providing services to veteran and military students. The other institutions in the study are Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Texas State University-San Marcos, Arizona State University, Mississippi State University, and the University of South Florida.
“Montclair State has taken great pride in developing programs and services that assist veterans and active military personnel to pursue a college degree,” said Karen L. Pennington, vice president for Student Development and Campus Life. “We are pleased that these efforts are working and that our students are achieving academically and progressing toward degree completion at a pace consistent with that of the University population.”
The survey results were based on OCP’s Graduation Probability Indices, which include: Grade Point Average (GPA), credits earned compared to credits pursued, retention from semester to semester, and utilization of campus services. Among the findings:
*Student veterans in the study had an average GPA of 3.04. Research indicates that students with more than a 3.0 have the highest graduation rate—77.4%.
*The retention rate for this group from Fall 2010–Spring 2011 was 94%. The national average for all students for first-year to second-year retention is 75%.
*Seventy-one percent of students in the study attained all credits pursued (an average of 24 credits per academic year) during the 2010-2011 academic year. Based on a six-year graduation rate, the students are moving toward their degrees consistent with their peers.
The Pat Tillman Foundation was established in 2004 to honor the legacy of Tillman and to pay tribute to his leadership and service following his death while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. The Foundation is a national leader in providing educational support and resources to veterans, active service members and their spouses.