Kettering College Awarded Collegiate Purple Star Award
Story by Courtney Dove
Randy Gardner, Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education recently announced the creation of the Collegiate Purple Star designation for Ohio colleges and universities. This designation came as the chancellor recognized the value and importance that military families bring to Ohio higher education.
He said, “As a State, we need to continue to make sure we are appropriately recognizing the needs and uniqueness of this population and providing military-connected student inclusive campuses.
”As a result, Ohio is now the first state in the nation to adopt a Collegiate Purple Star designation. Kettering College is one of only 33 higher education institutes who has been selected to receive the prestigious designation after successfully showing they have programs and resources put in place to support service members.
Randy Gardner stated, “Kettering College is to be commended for its efforts to support its veteran and service member students and families. I’m pleased to have them among our very first Collegiate Purple Star recipients.
”The sole purpose of the Collegiate Purple Star is to establish military-friendly criteria and ensure colleges and universities are adhering to them to best serve those who have served their country.
Kettering College’s president, Nate Brandstater is proud of the award they’ve worked hard to achieve. He said, “Through this Collegiate Purple Star designation, we pledge to support those who have pledged to defend our constitution and serve our country. This is a commitment by Kettering College to honor the service of our veterans, to welcome them to our campus, and to serve them in a way that gives special consideration to their circumstances and their needs.”The Ohio Department of Higher Education set forth the following eightcriteria to be met to be considered for the designation process:
1.Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans.
2.Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.
3.Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.
4.Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space for them (even if limited in size).
5.Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans.
6.Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention, and degree completion.
7.Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.
8.Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans.
In his announcement on May 26, 2022, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine thanked the higher education institutes that were awarded: "Thank you for being examples of Ohio’s proud tradition of honoring our service men and women. With these Collegiate Purple Star Awarddesignations, servicemembers, veterans, and military-connected students are able to pursue higher education knowing that their school has the necessary support system and guidance to help them find their next steps.
”Upon reviewing Kettering College’s application, the Collegiate Purple Star Advisory Committee has agreed that college has established the necessary resources to support the college’s incoming veterans. Items such as having a VA representative on campus, a veteran student group, academic alerts to track veterans’ success, job placement, and creating priority registration will help Kettering College offer additional support to their military students.The college said their services will help welcome the men and women who have sacrificed so much and show Kettering College’s gratitude not only by their words but also through their actions. They said they will proudly surround military students in confidence, encouragement, and prayer to help them succeed, noting that this is their intentional goal with all students.President Nate Brandstater added, “As our military students pivot from one courageous calling of serving their country to the next courageous calling of serving in healthcare, we salute them, and look forward to having them on our campus and one day on our healthcare front lines.”