CCME, a not-for-profit organization, was founded almost 50 years ago to promote, encourage, and deliver quality education to service members and their families in all branches of the armed services. Its membership is principally composed of military educators, civilian educators, post-secondary educational institutions, and suppliers of quality education products and services. The CCME symposium is the largest annual forum in the country with an expected attendance of about 1000 participants. The annual symposium facilitates the networking and interaction of the key leadership across these organizations in an environment that is focused on enhancing and optimizing voluntary education opportunities for the service member and their families.
EDUCATION. COMMUNICATION. LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY.
MESSAGE FROM THE CCME PRESIDENT
First and foremost, the CCME Board wants to thank all our members, attendees, and collaborative partners for their continued support. Your CCME Board of Directors truly hopes that you enjoyed the 2022 Professional Development Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. CCME is proud to be the platform to facilitate meaningful dialogue that leads to relevant strategies, innovation, and collaboration to enhance student success. Our continued hope is to advocate for positive change for our Service members, veterans, and their families.
This year’s event commenced with numerous pre-conference workshops, including our Newcomers Orientation, so first-time attendees can discover the meaning of CCME and connect with others. The informative and resourceful ACME session allows new and seasoned Advisory Council on Military Education (ACME) groups to define best practices and to create new State ACME groups across the Nation. We also had a session from the Institutions' Perspective on DoD Compliance to share best practices. NAIMES also kicked off a pre-conference session. Mr. Vernon Taylor for a presentation on Working Together to Bridge the Gaps.
A special thank you to Veteran Memorial High School Color Guard and National Anthem Singers. We had a warm welcome to the great State of Texas from General Aris and Commissioner Keller. This year’s Symposium delivered four dynamic keynote speakers, Ramón "CZ" Colón-López, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. CCME is truly grateful for the SEAC’s return in 2022 and he once again showed why he is the SEAC. Mr. James Rodriquez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy for Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) delivered an informative session that engaged a much-needed conversation regarding transitioning service members and veterans. Mr. Patrick Alston engaged the audience (walk with me) and created a dialogue that many of us could relate to in regards to engaging students. Shilo Harris brought a message of resilience and perseverance and had us laughing and crying.
CCME Members and attendees also heard from Caroline Baxter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Education and Training, Dr. Jonathan Woods Director of VOLED, and the service chief panel - Ms. Hildegard Buan (Chief Air Force Voluntary Education), Ms. Pamela Raymer (Associate Director, Army Continuing Education Systems), James Johnson (Voluntary Education Service Chief, US Navy), Stephen Keck (US Coast Guard) and Mr. Bart Macmillan (US Marine Corps VolEd Chief), they all provided us insights from DOD Voluntary Education community. Dr. Joseph Wescott provided further insight into the Risk-Based Survey that will be implemented in the Fall of 2022. Veteran Administration – Thomas Alphonso gave more information in regard to the Isakson-Rowe implementation requirements. The President/Executive Leader and Student panel gave us further perceptions of the challenges, needs, and best practices from academia and students.
I hope that you also enjoyed the Network Receptions and the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and friends while meeting new colleagues for the first time and creating new friendships. We hope that you all gained knowledge and were able to take some best practices back to your institutions/organizations and implement positive change to support your military-connected students.
This Symposium would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of our all-volunteer board, thank you for being committed to the mission and persevering through challenging times.
Believe it or not, CCME Board is meeting in three weeks to begin preparation for the 50-year Anniversary of CCME. This is going to be a milestone event and we look forward to seeing you all at CCME 2023 Times Square, New York January 23-26, 2023.