Veterans Education Cohort Model (Veterans Educated Together Succeed) VETS
The Veterans Education Cohort Model is being proposed by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College as a
strategy for helping those who have served our country to succeed in attainment of an Associate Degree
and fulfillment of their education and career goals. By definition a cohort is a group of people who have
shared a particular experience during a particular time span. The veterans we serve at higher education
institutions have already shared an experience that those not in the military have difficulty relating to.
The cohort model for education has been used for decades in Master’s and Doctoral education
programs. A group of individuals pursuing a common goal, higher education, come together, providing
support and encouragement so that all may succeed.
The proposed Veterans Educated Together Succeed (VETS) model will gather 16 – 20 veterans with
similar educational goals. They will enroll in classes as a cohort and support will include college
assimilation programs, academic advising, mentoring, counseling and tutoring. The program will also
include education for faculty and staff to create awareness of the challenges to the student veteran
This education program seeks to provide a cohort model in which 80% of the curriculum taken is
identical. The remaining coursework will be chosen to create degree opportunities that match the
student’s desires. We believe that this can be accomplished by focusing on a core program like the
Electro-Mechanical Associates Degree. The core classes in this program are transferrable to many other
programs at many colleges. The Solar Energy Technology, Utilities Engineering Technology, Energy
Management Technology, Wind and Manufacturing Engineering programs all contain significant courses
from this program.
The cohort would complete this core of Electro-Mechanical courses together and then specialize in a
program area assimilating with other students in those programs. The ability to complete a majority of
the degree program in an atmosphere that is tailored to their experiences and strengths provides the
most supportive opportunities for success and degree completion.
The graduating students would also have the opportunity to complete an Applied Technical Studies
Bachelors Degree through transfer agreements with the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
Recruiting / Advising
A coordinator / program coach will work with potential veteran students. The coordinator will help
them examine program / career options and facilitate placement testing as needed. The coordinator will
also work to connect businesses to students and foster the internship and mentoring relationships. The
coordinator will work with the students throughout their education at the college, through their
internships w/ businesses and their first job placement.
An academic advisor will be assigned to the students in the cohort. The academic advisor assigned will
have experience with veterans and/or be a veteran. The academic advisor will work with the
coordinator to schedule the cohort’s classes and any plans for remediation that may be needed.
Orientation / Team Building
The cohort of students will participate in an orientation / team building session a week prior to the start
of school. The advisor and the coordinator will work together to plan the weeks activities. They will
participate in typical orientation activities, exposing them to all of the programs at the college. The
cohort will also do team building exercises meant to develop the camaraderie amongst the cohort. The
college will work with the public safety division of the college to facilitate these activities.
As part of the early recruiting efforts testing will take place to determine the students current Math,
Reading and Writing placement. The college has basic education programs and will set up plans for any
remediation needed. It is critical that the students have the basic skills in needed to be successful. The
coordinator will work with potential students to complete remediation prior to the start of the academic
Classes will be structured so that cohort can move through at least the first year of the program as a
group. The academic advisor and coordinator will work to ensure that the instructors for the classes
have experience with veteran’s issues. Training will be provided for instructors based on the
recommendations of the coordinator and academic advisor. Tutoring sessions will be provided to
students as required and will take place using the cohort model as well.
Emphasis will be placed on providing additional activities for the cohort including physical activity and
stress management. Financial planning sessions will be provided to help students adjust to their new
The coordinator will work with employers to ensure that the needs of the employers are being met with
the program courses and that students are continually exposed through internships, guest speakers and
Internships / Job Placement
The coordinator will work with businesses to provide internships for the cohort students for the summer
between their first and second year. The coordinator will work with the students and the college’s
career center on resumes and interview skills. Businesses will hold mock interviews and provide job
shadowing opportunities for the student veterans. The program coordinator will help students with job
placement upon graduation.
Budget – 1 year, 16 students
Description Detail Cost Total
Coordinator ½ time, includes
Academic Advisor ½ time, includes
Orientation Activity / fees / food $5,000
Basic Education Remediation –covered
Tuition Covered by Federal
Books / Supplies $41.67/credit for
Group Tutoring 20 hours / wk x 17
weeks x 2
Computer $1,200/student 19,200
Living Expenses Apartment $595/2 bedroom apt. x
16 x 12 - $57,120
Food / living allowance $425/month x 16 x 9 =
Veterans Energy Center: Power distribution, renewable energy, energy management, veterans
Staff training – instructing faculty and staff regarding veterans issues and sensitizing them to
what the veteran students have experienced.
Field experiences at businesses as part of the training – may need funds for transportation /
Wisconsin covers a portion of the veterans tuition, the college picks up the rest. Wisconsin does
not provide any funds for books or supplies.
The Federal, Post 9/11 program, reimburses the college for tuition and $41.67/credit for books