ODHE unveils new Collegiate Purple Star designation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Program honors colleges that support military-connected students

COLUMBUS – In 2017, Ohio’s PreK-12 school system led the nation by creating the “Purple Star” designation for those schools that worked to become military friendly.
On Tuesday, Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner announced Ohio is taking the next step in advancing this work with the creation of the first-ever “Collegiate Purple Star” designation.

“We are always developing ways for Ohio to become the best place for military members and their families to live, work, and raise a family,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “Purple Star Schools are great examples of how Ohioans can come together to support, encourage and recognize the sacrifices our service men and women and their loved ones make.”

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The Collegiate Purple Star will recognize those public and independent colleges and universities in Ohio that are supportive and inclusive of military-connected students.
Designations will be determined by a Collegiate Purple Star Advisory Committee after evaluation and recommendation. The advisory committee will be appointed by the Chancellor and composed of members from organizations that include but aren’t limited to ODHE, the Ohio Veterans Education Council (with representation from two-year colleges, four-year universities and independent institutions), the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department, and the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission K-12 Purple Star Committee.

“I am pleased to announce the expansion of this great program to support military families at the college level,” Gardner said. “Ohio has always valued veterans and servicemembers and their families; expanding the Purple Star program to our colleges and universities will give students with military connections one more reason to continue their education here.”

Criteria for being chosen as a Purple Star college or university include having a dedicated military/veteran point of contact and/or office on campus, establishing priority registration for veterans and servicemembers, surveying student veterans and servicemembers – along with spouses and dependents – about needs and challenges and allowing for the establishment of student-led groups and organizations for veterans and servicemembers.

“About 80 percent of Ohio National Guard Airmen and Soldiers are traditional, part-time Guard members and many of them are students at Ohio’s colleges and universities,” Gen. Harris said. “Many times, especially in the past two years during the COVID-19 response, we need members to deploy at a moment’s notice. Schools are an important partner to help students and their families cope with issues stemming from deployments, training and other challenges that come with a military lifestyle.”

More information on the Collegiate Purple Star program is available online at https://www.ohiohighered.org/purple-star.