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News: All 13 Tennessee community colleges are now certified VETS Campuses

NASHVILLE (Nov. 10, 2022) – As Tennessee’s community and technical colleges honor veterans in their campus communities this week, they’re also celebrating the news that all 13 community colleges are now certified as VETS Campuses, a state program that recognizes their commitment to services that help veterans succeed as they pursue their education.

Motlow State Community College and Roane State Community College recently won VETS Campus certification by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, joining the state’s 11 other community colleges that have earned and maintained their VETS certifications since the state legislature created the program.

VETS Campus certification means the colleges prioritize outreach to veterans, allocate resources for veterans’ successful transition from military service to college, and successfully deliver services that create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.

In addition to the community colleges, two technical colleges in the College System of Tennessee have earned VETS Campus certification: the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology at Chattanooga and Dickson. The other technical colleges in the statewide system are working toward certification, a priority of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the system’s governing board.

The Tennessee General Assembly enacted the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act in 2014. The statute lists a rigorous set of requirements and qualifications that colleges and universities must meet to earn VETS Campus certification. Public and private colleges and universities may qualify.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission administers the program, awards the certifications, and reviews the institutions annually to renew their certifications. To date, 28 public and private Tennessee colleges and universities have earned certification.

The requirements for VETS Campus certification include mentoring and support programs for student veterans; creating and maintaining a process for assessing prior learning that grants academic credit to veterans for transferable training and experience attained through their military service; conducting annual surveys of student veterans’ views, needs, issues and suggestions; providing special orientation programs for student veterans; special outreach to veterans, and more.

“Earning and maintaining VETS Campus certification is an example of the College System of Tennessee’s and the Tennessee Board of Regents’ commitment to providing a comprehensive support structure for veterans during their program of study,” said Dr. Robert M. Denn, TBR associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and veterans service officer. “It is an honor to have veterans at our institutions. We have a duty to serve them as they served us,” said Denn, a veteran of the U.S. Marines Corps.

During their Veterans Day activities this week, each college in the system is presenting a veteran in the campus community – a student, alumnus, faculty or staff member – with the annual Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans.

TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings created the special recognition for veterans on our campuses three years ago. College presidents may nominate a student, member of the faculty or staff, or an alumnus who are veterans or active-service members and exemplify characteristics of honor, courage, commitment, integrity, duty, respect, discipline and sacrifice.

After the Chancellor approves the nominees, the colleges award the Commendations, in the form of a specially commissioned challenge coin featuring the military branches on one side and the Chancellor’s Commendation designation on the other. Challenge coins have a long tradition in the military, awarded by commanders in recognition of special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride, respect and esprit de corps.

The list of the 39 Chancellor’s Commendation honorees for 2022 and more information about the program are here:

More information on VETS Campuses, including the certification requirements and a complete list of certified VETS campuses, is available here:

Information on resources for veterans interested in pursuing their education is available at

Additional information on financial assistance, academic credit for military training and experience and other resources for veterans is available at

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