Approximately 1000 members of the military education community met from 25-28 February at the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) 40th anniversary symposium at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel. The theme of the symposium, “Building Bridges to Success through Education for the Military Community", was clearly evident in the presentations of the key speakers and during the numerous concurrent sessions.
The week began on Monday 24 February with a charity golf event raising several thousand dollars for the San Diego area Wounded Warriors. Also on Monday the various Associations of College and Military Educators for the States (ACME) held their annual meetings. The Veterans Artist Program (VAP) presented again this year. The evening was capped off by the opening of the exhibit center with about 150 exhibits and the President’s Reception.
Tuesday included an inspiring keynote address by Dan Clark, Founder and CEO of Clark Success Systems, a panel discussion of the President Obama’s Executive Order led by representatives of the Departments of Defense, Education and Veterans Affairs. Additionally there was an update on Air Force education programs, a luncheon presentation of the history of CCME, a distinguished panel of university presidents supporting military education, a headquarters Coast Guard update, and a panel of Education Services Officers from the Services discussing service member educational needs.
Wednesday was devoted to dozens of current sessions dealing with the issues involved with providing education for our military and veterans. During the symposium on Wednesday and Thursday a professional development institute (PDI) was conducted by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) for military and academic counselors who wanted to benefit from training that helped military and veterans achieve their education goals, with special emphasis on vocational issues. General sessions were also helped on Wednesday stressing veteran employment with Larry Broughton noted expert on veteran entrepreneurship, and a panel was conducted on the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act (VOW) including Curtis Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Development. The day ended with a spectacular team building event featuring a 70’s theme party and cruise of San Diego Bay.
Thursday concluded the conference with more timely concurrent sessions and several significant general sessions. Of particular interest was a live telecast to the attendees from the Pentagon featuring Major General Michael tucker discussing the Army’s continuing strong support of education for soldiers.
The initial critiques indicate that all who attended considered it to be a highly valuable training event for those involved in military and veteran education. CCME is already planning the February 2014 symposium in Savannah, Georgia. Go to www.ccmeonline.org for more information.