The diverse Education Working Group includes educational institutions, state agencies, and non-profit organizations working to improve access to education benefits and facilitate a successful educational experience for service members, veterans and their families.

Most recently, the EWG co-hosted several events throughout the state targeting student veterans and employers to increase awareness of potential career paths for veterans and connect the student veterans with networking mentors.   The host locations were Pritzker Military Library in Chicago, Southwestern Illinois College, Northern Illinois University, and Western Illinois University.

Current and Future Initiatives of the Education Working Group

  • Conducting statewide “train the trainer” sessions on Military/Veteran 101 training for college and  university faculty.
  • Working with university and college officials to assist them in recognizing military learning for appropriate, full academic credit.
  • Conduct advisor training covering topics from career pathways to financial benefits.
  • Hosting a webinar series on topical issues concerning student veterans.

Working Group Chair

Roman Ortega

Working Group Vice Chair

  • Ms. Amy Sherman, The Council for Adult & Experiential Learning


  • Illinois State University

    llinois State University is Illinois' first public university, founded in 1857. At Illinois State, we devote our resources and energies to creating a supportive and productive campus community for all - students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees, contributors, and visitors. Illinois State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission..
  • Legacy Corps

    Legacy Corps is an AmeriCorps program providing assistance to Service Members, both active and veteran, their families and caregivers. Through members who each pledge 450 hours a year, we can provide services of non-medical in-home respite, transportation, resource referrals, peer groups, social events and education (for caregivers and the public.)
    Since 2003 Legacy Corps has served northern Illinois and now responds to needs in 72 communities, all at no charge to the family.
    With our new host of Northwest Compass, we are able to expand our roster of services to our clients by including possible housing and energy assistance, job coaching and food [...]
  • College Of Lake County

    College of Lake County (CLC) is a community college located in Lake County, IL. CLC welcomes veterans, military service members and their families. Veteran Student Services (VSS) provides comprehensive resources, serving as a single point of contact for veterans, military students and their families (military members) attending or planning to attend CLC. We can assist you with: •Applying to the college •Applying for and using federal and state benefits •Basic/general non-academic college advice VSS is a team of VA Educational Benefits experts composed of veterans who have already obtained a degree or are in the process of obtaining a degree, as well as a former military [...]
  • Illinois Joining Forces

    llinois Joining Forces (IJF) is a statewide, public-private network of veteran- and military-serving organizations. We collaborate in person and online to help service members, veterans, and their families navigate the “sea of goodwill.”
    No one organization can do it all. But veterans shouldn’t have to wander from office to office—or website to website—to figure out who does what, and who can best meet their needs.
  • University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign | Veteran Student Support Services

    Our vision is for student Veterans, active duty personnel, National Guards and Reserve member, and their qualifying dependents to succeed at Illinois and reach their full potential as ethical leaders and engaged citizens.

    The mission of Veteran Student Support Services is to serve student Veterans, active duty military personnel, National Guard and Reserve members, and their qualifying dependents by providing excellence in outreach, student support services, and advocacy. VSSS aspires to the highest standard of quality in our communications, services, and outreach; strives to create transformational learning experiences [...]
  • Veterans Forward At National Able Network

    Veterans Forward at National Able Network provides career coaching, development, and connections to employees.  We are 100% veterans serving veterans with an expert staff of career coaches committed to your success.  Our best in class tools include resume development, personal branding, interview prep, Linkedin development (including professional headshot), and networking.  We connect veterans to local employers through veteran exclusive job leads and hiring events with trusted partners.

  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale(SIU)

    Southern Illinois University Carbondale provides educational programs on our main campus, online and at extended campus sites including military bases.  We have experience processing active duty Tuition Assistance, Illinois Programs (Veterans Grant, National Guard Grant and MIA/POW Scholarship) and GI Bill Benefits (Montgomery, Post 9/11, Dependents Educational Assistance, Vocational Rehabilitation).  We can provide fact sheets and assistance in completing applications to use the benefits.  We also have VA employees on campus under the Veterans Integrated to Academic Leadership (VITAL) program to assist in gaining access to VA medical care.

  • Council For Adult And Experiential Learning (CAEL)

    For more than four decades, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been providing colleges and universities, companies, labor organizations, and state and local government with the tools and strategies they need to create practical, effective lifelong learning solutions. CAEL has demonstrated expertise in adult learning and career advancement, with its particular focus on non-traditional learners. CAEL offers a range of services to develop and strengthen education and career services for veterans. Our services help returning veterans maximize the value of their educational benefits to advance their [...]

  • Wounded Heroes Foundation

    The Wounded Heroes Foundation (WHF) supports the injured men and women of our Armed Forces serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. Their traumatic injuries, which  include vision and hearing loss, amputations, gunshot wounds, burns and blasts, retire these proud, brave warriors from the very military service that has until now defined them.

    WHF helps meet the needs of these wounded heroes and their families during the difficult recovery time by offering physical, emotional and financial support.  It is our mission to pay tribute to our wounded heroes’ service by enhancing their recovery wherever possible. WHF provides [...]
  • Health & Disability Advocates

    Health & Disability Advocates (HDA) provides training, consultation, and technical assistance to address barriers, including Veterans Programs.

    HDA plays an active, leadership role in creating information, distributing resources and building the capacity of communities and providers throughout Illinois to better meet the needs of Veterans, military service members, their families, and families of the fallen. Illinois Warrior to Warrior aims to bridge the gaps between military service and civilian life. We do this by recruiting Volunteer Veterans from all branches and eras to serve as peer support and direction for returning Veterans, [...]

  • Center For Wounded Veterans In Higher Education

    The Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides comprehensive and individualized services to veterans with a disabling condition and their families. The purpose of the Center is to create an individual program for student veterans pursuing a degree at the University of Illinois. Services include Transition and Academic Support, Counseling Services, Career and Employment Development, and Benefits Counseling. There are also VA staff available onsite along with a residential program. All services are offered to enrolled students free of charge.

  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission

    The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is a state agency committed to making postsecondary education accessible and affordable for the students and families of Illinois. In support of its mission, ISAC offers an array of programs to help students pay for college, including the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and the Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant, and it serves as a centralized source of information about the entire financial aid process. ISAC provides guidance and assistance to students and families through its websites, call centers, publications, and numerous outreach activities and events held throughout the state.
  • ConnectVets.Org

    ConnectVETS offers scholarships* for its “New Mission” curriculum provided by The Careers College. This curriculum educates motivated and career seeking transitioning Service Members, Veterans and their spouses on the civilian HR process for success. This self-paced online program teaches the secrets on how to transition and market skills and uncover the hidden job market – the inside track to careers not advertised on job boards or at job fairs. Also included is how to leverage social media, master networking and shares the three secrets to increasing the odds of getting an interview. For serious and committed job seekers interested in educating themselves on the civilian HR [...]
  • Northeastern Illinois University

    Founded in 1867, Northeastern has a rich tradition of educational innovation and prides itself on preparing teachers and administrators who make a difference in Chicago. That tradition continues to this day and has expanded to include an array of academic disciplines, allowing the University to embrace fully the community in which it resides. Northeastern is regarded as the most diverse public comprehensive university in the Midwest and is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Diversity is an important factor in the character of Northeastern and in the social fabric of its student body.

    The [...]

  • Vet2Tech

    Vet2Tech is a national non-profit (501c3) organization dedicated to helping veterans find a way to utilize their mechanical or electrical skills for new career opportunities in the civilian sector. The commercial food equipment repair industry, the home appliance repair industry and the HVAC/Refrigeration industry are searching for qualified veteran candidates to fill open positions all over the country. There are no fees for our services to veterans.

  • Western Illinois University

    The Veterans Resource Center is committed to assisting those who served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, and their family members. In collaboration with an array of University departments and community organizations, the center provides coordinated services and resources in a one-stop location to ensure that all military service members are afforded the greatest opportunities for success.

    Veterans and service members receive individualized assistance in completing request forms such as educational and military transcripts; and applications for the G.I. Bill, Illinois Veterans Grant, Illinois National Guard Grant, [...]
  • Lewis University

    What We Do

    Lewis University, guided by its Catholic and Lasallian heritage, provides to a diverse student population programs for a liberal and professional education grounded in the interaction of knowledge and fidelity in the search for truth. Lewis promotes the development of the complete person through the pursuit of wisdom and justice. Fundamental to its mission is a spirit of association which fosters community in all teaching, learning and service. Lewis University is grateful for the dedication and service of our armed forces and we are committed to supporting you in reaching your academic and career goals. Whether you [...]
  • Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation

    Our Mission is to advance trauma-informed care to the Active Duty, Veterans, Reservists, Guardsmen and their Families in Lake County, Illinois while transforming the way services are delivered thru education and outreach. We provide a safe and comfortable drop-in center centrally located in Lake County, where we maintain a Dryhootch Coffee Shop as well as space to host providers' services as well as activities of interest developed and offered to support camaraderie and healing. We provide free and confidential care for this population (regardless of their discharge status), provided by Veteran volunteers and Veteran Peer Support Specialists and linkage with a [...]

  • Veterans Housing and Employment Assistance, NFP

    Veterans Housing and Employment Assistance is a trusted partner helping to provide access to safe, affordable housing, employment, and supportive services for veterans and their families.

    The mission of Veterans Housing and Employment Assistance is to locate safe, supportive housing and employment, where Veterans and their families thrive, living in harmony with other supportive neighbors, while they endeavor to attain personal growth and enhance life skills, in order to re-establish themselves as active members of their community and regain self-sufficiency in their lives through empowerment.
    Veterans Housing and [...]
  • Changing Children's Worlds Foundation

    Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation’s (CCWF) goal is for every child to be positively supported by every adult in their life. CCWF offers two programs to support your community: 1. International Child/Parent Development Program (ICDP): A program which trains parents, children, and caregiver facilitators to implement empathy-based interactions into their daily lives. ICDP curriculum is also used in parent/caregiver and child learning groups throughout the community. These groups ensure that children are supported in a positive and loving way. 2. Integrative Youth Development Program (IYD): An empowering initiative to measure and increase the number and quality of [...]

  • City Colleges Of Chicago

    The Veterans Services Centers are centralized, on-site sources of support and access to veterans-specific information and resources. Our Veterans Services teams are staffed by veterans and skilled professionals so we understand the unique challenges our returning veterans face when making the transition from active duty military to college life. Not only do we provide one-on-one services, our Veterans Services Centers also provide a welcoming environment where veterans can meet and network with other veterans, relax, or study. We encourage you to take advantage of the services we provide.

  • College of DuPage Veterans Services

    College of DuPage is a community college with far-reaching impact. We're firmly rooted in the community that provides our mandate, yet committed to reflecting the needs and demands of an ever-changing world. We understand the importance of remaining relevant on multiple levels: interpersonal, academic, civic, cultural and economic. With a steady eye on regional, national and international developments, College of DuPage fulfills its mission as an educational and economic agent of change for the residents it serves.

    Beyond all other considerations, though, we are educators, devoted to the idea that knowledge is transformative. We believe there are few things [...]
  • Prairie State College

    Prairie State College fosters collaborative relationships that empower students to achieve their education and career goals. The College embraces its diversity, nurtures life-ling learning, and supports community and economic development.

    Prairie State College is a two-year community college offering associate degrees, technical and career certificates, and adult, corporate, and continuing education.
  • Mchenry County College

    McHenry County College provides credit and noncredit educational and training opportunities as well as special events for close to 60,000 participants annually. MCC is a two-year, public community college, offering transfer, occupational, and online degrees and certificates. The college serves the seventh most rapidly growing county in Illinois and offers six associate's degrees and 17 Associate of Applied Science degrees.

    Payment is required for some services; Credit, Cash, GI Bill, Illinois Veteran Grant, and Illinois Nation Guard Grant accepted.
  • Waubonesee Community College

    We take pride in exceeding expectations, offering a top education to all students willing to work hard for their dreams. Waubonsee has top-ranked academic programs, a dynamic student population, a breadth of services and resources, and a growing campus network — all of which mean a richer college experience for you. With Waubonsee, you can get a start on your bachelor's degree, achieve your career goals, pursue a new interest or brush up on your basic skills. We offer transfer programs, career programs, adult education, business training, student services and personal and professional learning. In addition to our Sugar Grove Campus, we have campuses in downtown [...]