The U.S. Army and Education - Partnerships that make a difference
The U.S. Army recognizes that education is an essential component and important building block for the future of today’s youth. Collaborating with America’s educators and education organizations is necessary to address urgent issues related to post-secondary planning, drop-out prevention and intervention, workforce readiness and teacher shortages. United by common goals to motivate, educate and develop today’s young people to become the leaders, decision makers and citizen contributors of tomorrow means that forming strategic partnerships now is critical.
Already, the Army and education organizations are working together to meet the needs of today’s youth. Partnerships have been formed between the Army and a number of education and multicultural organizations to target education-related issues facing our nation. Key partnerships have been established with the following organizations:
National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
NASBE represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. Its principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity, promote excellence in the education of all students and assure responsible governance of education.
The Army’s partnership with NASBE outlines a combined effort to identify productive ways of sharing the educational and expert resources of the Army with the education community to:
- Improve student readiness for post-secondary success, whether that is higher education, technical training, industry, military service or some combination of these options;
- Increase educator understanding of the educational opportunities available to Soldiers; and
- Support NASBE in meeting its commitment to sound and thoughtful education policy development.
Partnering in 2009, outcomes of the collaboration between NASBE and the Army include:
- Publication of a military and education edition of the State Education Standard, the policy journal of NASBE;
- Formation of a study group to improve post-secondary outcomes for young people; and
- An annual education conference where educators and Army representatives come together to share best practices.
Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. It provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 27,000 members including teachers, counselors and administrators at the middle school, high school and post-secondary levels.
Specific areas of focus for collaboration between ACTE and the Army include:
- Building a comprehensive understanding of career and technical choices for students;
- Improving graduation rates and elevating the health and fitness levels of the nation’s young people;
- Expanding test preparation and career exploration/assessment resources for educators and students; and
- Addressing the need for well-trained teachers and instructors, particularly in the areas of science, mathematics and career and technical education.
Kiwanis International, a global community service organization, has been involved in the development of youth leaders since 1925 and is dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. The organization operates several hands-on service leadership programs for youth, including Key Club and Key Leader programs for high school students and Circle K at the university level.
The Army is partnering with Kiwanis to establish and sustain connectivity in the community and schools, which is a priority for both organizations. This partnership is one way to illustrate the Army’s strong commitment to education and reinforce commonalities between the two organizations, including:
- Common core values;
- Shared sense of purpose; and
- Strong desire to improve the strength and future of the nation.
Together with Kiwanis, the Army is focused on promoting the right skills and encouraging the necessary leadership attributes needed to develop the future leaders of the nation.
National FFA Organization
Future Farmers of America (FFA) was founded by a group of young farmers in 1928. Their mission was to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. They emphasized that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting -- it's a science, a business and an art.
FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet those challenges by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways.
As a part of this partnership, the National FFA Organization is coming together with the Army to:
- Identify innovative ways to emphasize education, training and leadership as pathways to success;
- Support Army JROTC in its mission to provide leadership, service and citizenship development opportunities for young people; and
- Support the FFA mission to develop leadership, foster personal growth and enable career success in students through agricultural education.
Serving more than 300,000 students and instructors annually, SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry professionals working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel.
SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including healthcare. The organization has 13,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations.
SkillsUSA, in partnership with the Army, is working to:
- Increase educator understanding of the benefits of Army service and the educational and career opportunities available to Soldiers and
- Support SkillsUSA in meeting its mission to create a skilled work force by helping each student excel through partnerships with teachers, industry representatives and exploring career pathways.
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions. Today, HACU represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
As a result of its partnership with HACU, the Army supports HACU’s Annual Conference and the College Tour program, which brings high school students to universities to learn more about college life.
Additional areas of focus include:
- Building a comprehensive understanding of career and technical choices for students;
- Collaborating on programs designed to increase awareness of Army resources available to Hispanics seeking higher education, career and leadership opportunities; and
- Increasing understanding among Hispanic organizations of the benefits and education opportunities provided through Army service.
Health Occupations Students of America, Inc. (HOSA)
Health Occupations Students of America, Inc. (HOSA) is a national student organization endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of ACTE. HOSA's two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry and to enhance the delivery of compassionate, quality healthcare by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health science technology education students.
The Army’s partnership with HOSA allows members to gain a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and benefits of pursuing a healthcare career in the Army. Other focus areas include:
- Expanded career exploration and test preparation resources for educators and students; and
- Leadership development and improving the health and fitness of students.
Furthermore, the Army’s emphasis on education, training and leadership supports HOSA’s mission to develop the knowledge, skills and leadership qualities of future health professionals.
The Army is dedicated to the education of youth and the development of life-long skills to instill values that support informed citizenship. Partnerships such as those forged with NASBE, ACTE, Kiwanis, FFA, SkillsUSA, HACU, HOSA and other education and multicultural organizations further the Army’s commitment to the future success of today’s young people.