VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson, former Congressman Chet Edwards (right) and Rosye Cloud (left) from the Veterans Benefits Administration were among the participants in the accelerated learning programs roundtable.
Today, the White House and VA hosted a roundtable that brought together leaders in government, education and industry to discuss how accelerated learning programs can help our nation’s Veterans. The discussion is part of the White House’s Skills and Demand-Driven Training Initiative.
VA is exploring accelerated learning programs as a potential alternative or supplement to traditional education that results in career competitive skills and employment opportunities for Veterans. In this first phase of exploration, VA is focusing on information technology programs, due to the high growth, in-demand nature of the IT industry. In conjunction with the roundtable, VA will release a full report later this year that provides an overview of its preliminary research on IT programs.
“We must do all that we can to make sure our Veterans who were ready for war are also ready for life outside the military,” Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson told roundtable participants “We talk a lot about how hiring Veterans is the right thing to do. The fact is hiring Veterans is the smart thing to do, and we must do all that we can to support them.”
Accelerated learning is a non-traditional form of education that engages multiple learning styles to increase learning effectiveness and generate measurable increases in skills and knowledge. Individuals with career competitive skills gaps may pursue such intensive or self-paced learning with a career or industry skills development focus. Types of accelerated learning programs are varied and include bootcamps, accelerated certificate programs, online courses and apprenticeships.
VA intends to use the insight provided by industry leaders and education innovators to inform projects that will test the effectiveness of these programs in targeted communities where VA can maximize the impact for Veterans and transitioning Servicemembers.
The joint White House – VA roundtable discussion brought together key government agencies, education entrepreneurs and thought leaders, social impact subject matter experts and private sector employers to discuss the potential benefits of accelerated learning programs.