Australian Catholic University has received a Commonwealth grant of more than $240,000 that will enable defence force veterans to have their service record assessed for prior learning credits.
The Office of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel awarded ACU the grant under its 2019-20 Supporting Younger Veterans grants program.
The grant awarded to ACU Professor Sandra Jones and Matthew Wyatt-Smith, chief executive of the Australian Student Veterans Association, is to assist ACU to create a tertiary credit mapping framework to enable Australian Defence Force veterans to have their service record assessed for “Credit for Prior Learning” when entering and undertaking university-level studies.
The SYV program aims to foster the ability of ex-service organisations and non-ex-service organisations to support the needs of younger veterans as they transition out of the defence force, establish themselves into civilian life, and manage the challenges their service presents through different stages of their post-military life.
The grant will support ACU’s innovative Veteran’s Entry Program, a pathway program launched by the university last year. This program made ACU the first Australian university to offer consistent entry requirements for veterans, regardless of state of residence and study.
Mr Wyatt-Smith said “the VEP significantly reduces the ‘barriers of entry’ for prospective student veterans who are seeking to undertake tertiary education post their military career. This program benefits both the veteran, regardless of rank, and society at large, as these exceptionally capable individuals will be empowered through higher learning to contribute to society through employment where tertiary education is a prerequisite.”
VEP is part of ACU’s wider Student Veterans Support Program, which was established by the university in 2018 to support student military veterans as they make the transition from military to university life.