The Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) had its beginning in California. A group of Education Services Officers (ESO's) gathered in the early 1970's to exchange ideas on how to best serve the needs of military personnel who desired a college education. From this early beginning it was decided that they would meet annually in February. They further decided that educational institutions providing education for the military, both on and off base, should be invited to send a representative to the symposiums. It was in 1973 when the first annual symposium of the California Community Colleges and Military Educators Association (CCCMEA) met with John Harmes as the group's chairman. At the annual symposium in San Francisco in 1994, the organization was renamed Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) to more accurately reflect the membership and its role in military education. The CCME has now become world-wide in scope.
Annual symposium sites over the years have included Santa Barbara, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Honolulu, Nashville, and Tampa.
The first symposium held outside California was in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the second in Seattle, Washington. It was evident that military educators from across the nation, as well as educational institutions, were benefiting from membership with CCME. Representatives from the Department of Defense, Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC). American Council on Education (ACE) and DANTES participate in annual symposiums, along with service education chiefs and accrediting agencies.
CCME continues to demonstrate its ability to address the ever-changing landscape in the well-established partnership between the services, colleges and universities. Each annual symposium provides a forum for discussions concerning the rising cost of education within constrained military budgets, the increasing reliance on outsourcing and contracting in the education services community, and the resulting serious implications on the services and institutions, and, ultimately, on the military student.