Nov 11, 2016

Columbia State Designated As Vets Campus

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Nov. 11, 2016) - - - Columbia State Community College was recognized as a Veterans Education Transition Support Campus by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Thursday, Nov. 10.

The VETS Campus designation is given to an institution that shows commitment to providing services and assistance to those who have previously served in the military.

"We are very proud to be an institution that is dedicated to helping those who have been in the service that have come back to college to acquire the skills that they need to go to move forward," said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. "I am proud to have the opportunity to work with a faculty and staff that are so dedicated to helping our students and the veterans of this community achieve their goals."

Mike Krause, Tennessee Higher Education Commission executive director and U.S. Army veteran, explained that saying thank you to service men and women is reflexive and that the difference with Columbia State is that appreciation is put into action. He recognized Daniela Gardner, Columbia State veterans success coach and U.S. Navy veteran, for her hard work and passion in servicing student veterans.

"The pathway to service in America right now is getting a college education," Krause said. "So for many, continuing the mission means getting out, using your G.I. Bill® and getting your degree."

Gregg Crawford, veteran education coordinator from East Tennessee and U.S. Marine veteran, offered congratulations to Columbia State on behalf of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services and Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder for being designated a VETS Campus. Crawford commended Columbia State for their efforts to aide student veterans and their families.

"Veterans have excellence, maturity and leadership that they bring to classes," Crawford said. "Efforts like yours to recruit and retain will enrich the lives of student veterans and their transition to the next chapter."

Charlie Norman, Maury County mayor, said that this community has labeled veterans as a priority and continues to put them at the top and honor them.

"I can't thank Columbia State enough," Norman said. "Columbia State wants to be involved in our community, and they try to make us the best place to live, work and play."

Columbia State currently has more than 340 students enrolled that have self-identified as veterans.

Mike Krause and Dr. Janet F. Smith
Photo Caption:
Mike Krause, THEC executive director, presents Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, with letter of commendation signed by Krause and certificate signed by Tom Morrison, THEC assistant executive director of veterans education, that designated Columbia State as an institution dedicated to veteran success.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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