CSHE receives grant to evaluate NSF education program for veterans

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) has received a grant in the amount of $199,656 to design an evaluation of a National Science Foundation (NSF) program aimed at helping military veterans who want to return to college to pursue science and engineering degrees.

CSHE will be evaluating the NSF’s Military Veterans Engineering Education Initiative. Under the initiative, some 100 colleges and universities will receive NSF pilot grants totaling about $150 million to develop programs and services aimed at easing the transition of veterans into science and engineering disciplines. These pilot grants are intended to help the postsecondary institutions meet the unique needs of military veterans who return to college or enroll for the first time.

CSHE’s evaluation is expected to help NSF and the participating universities determine which types of programs and services are the most successful at helping returning veterans. CSHE is housed in the College of Education.

Co-principal investigators on the project are Donald Heller, professor of education and director of CSHE, and Robert Hendrickson, professor of education and CSHE senior scientist. Other investigators are Kimberly Griffin, assistant professor and CSHE research associate; Claire Gilbert, CSHE graduate assistant; and Theodore Timmerman III, coordinator of veterans outreach in Penn State’s Office of Veterans Programs.

“We’re very excited to receive this grant,” said Heller. “Many veterans have very strong technical skills from their training and experience received while in the military, and NSF would like to help colleges and universities capitalize on that to help develop the nation’s skilled workforce. We look forward to working with NSF to design an appropriate evaluation to determine how higher education institutions can be most successful in helping train the returning veterans.”

The project runs from March 1, 2010 through February 28, 2011. It is funded by NSF’s Division of Engineering Education and Centers.

Last Updated June 15, 2010