State Advisory Councils on Military Education: Part 3 of 3


State Advisory Councils on Military Education (ACMEs) have wrapped up their annual meetings for the year. They are now developing their agendas for the sessions they are planning in conjunction with the Council of Colleges and Military Educators (CCME) Symposium scheduled for February 2012 at the Sea World Renaissance in Orlando ( The state meetings will be augmented with a general session that all ACME members are encouraged to attend, as well as a concurrent session moderated by Joan Miller from Embry Riddle Worldwide  that will address how to successfully re-involve government representatives in ACME and CCME programs and processes.

2011 Wrap Up: California, Florida and Washington State ACME accomplishments are provided below. Updates for other active state ACMEs were published in earlier reports in this publication. Click here to see ACME Updates Part 1 and 2.

California:  The California ACME is unique in that it is comprised of five regions and each region is required to conduct a minimum of one meeting each year. Some regions hold meetings quarterly. The ACME does not hold an annual meeting at this time since the Board has determined that it does not want to replicate the venues of the annual CCME meetings. Regional meetings address local issues which are important since the state is so large and issues vary so much from region to region. For example, San Diego (Region 1) is largely Navy and Marine Corps whereas the San Francisco/Northern California area is Air Force (Region 5).  This past year, the regional meetings addressed hot ticket items such as veteran’s administration changes, legislative issues, networking to resolve regional issues, etc.

The California ACME has made significant progress over the past several months. It has developed an active website, which includes all pertinent information for the organization ( Efforts are under way to incorporate as a non-profit organization, which is expected to be completed by Jan 1, 2012. This non-profit status will allow the California ACME to gather donations to support education projects as well as its newly developed website. A bank account has been established by the California ACME Treasurer for donations. The membership list is being converted to an electronic format that will allow the organization to operate more efficiently. Due to many necessary operational changes identified over the past year, the CA-ACME Bylaws are being updated. The California ACME Advisory Board continues to meet on a regular schedule; meetings are rotated among the regions. The CA ACME has added two board positions to accommodate it continued growth; these new positions include a Membership Chair and Technology Chair. Other Advisory Board positions will be added as needed.  

Steve Howard, President of the California ACME, informs that their future goals include a push to increase membership, establishing procedures for gathering donations, updating organizational Bylaws, determining the possibility of interaction with other state/national/grassroots organizations.

Florida:  While a Florida-based organization, the Florida ACME has active members who work and reside in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and surrounding states. Educators and officials, regardless of location, are invited and encouraged to attend and participate, as long as they share the state ACME’s dedication to providing educational opportunities for members the nation's armed forces and their families -- active duty, reserve/guard, or retired.

Florida’s 2011 annual meeting convened in Key West Florida. The meeting was chaired by Vice President Amaya Davis and was attended by one of the largest number of participants in well over a decade. Key presentations included a Wounded Warrior’s panel, a panel that dealt with Best Practices of Top Military Friendly Schools, an Update by the Regional Student Veterans of America (SVA), insightful Services Updates, a report on Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation Reaffirmation - A School's Perspective, and an ESO Panel. Afterhours events included a cruise of the Key West shoreline, meals and entertainment at local restaurants, as well as a karaoke outing ‘hosted’ by Dr. Randy Plunkett.

Marc Churchwell, University of West Florida, serves as President of the Florida ACME; his focus for the year was to expand membership and participation in the state advisory council and its activities. Other Executive Board members include Vice President Jan Del Signore, Keiser University; Treasurer Kenneth Gonzalez, Saint Leo University; and Secretary Angelia Byers, University of West Florida.

The Florida ACME will be holding its 2012 conference from April 25 - April 27, 2012, in St. Augustine’s Casa Monica Hotel.  The conference will emphasize the exchange of ideas and information that will better serve the educational opportunities of members of the entire military community.

Check the Florida ACME’s website for other interesting information about the ACME and its future plans.

Washington State: A major emphasis for the Washington ACME during 2011 was to devote additional focus in reconstituting ACME involvement of institutions and professional government educators providing education services to military families across the state. The previous Washington ACME, AMEWS, was disbanded some time back, and new institutional and educational leadership determined there was a need to flesh out participation in a successor organization designed to better shape the type and depth of educational programs provided to military personnel and their families stationed across the state.

Much of the WA ACME’s activity throughout the year centered on strengthening the new organization, revising its by-laws, determining who would have voting rights, and in establishing which offices would be elected by the membership. The organization is also working to establish a webpage that will post pertinent organizational information and scheduling of events and activities.

This year’s annual conference dealt with issues such as the DoD MOU, upcoming changes to DoD TA policy, an update on Army Education, the Troops-to-Teachers program, better ways for the colleges to support the ESOs in Washington,  the Yellow Ribbon Program,  and VA certification issues.

Monique Black, Webster University, is the current President of the Washington ACME; Gary Harrah, Phoenix University, serves as Vice President; Barbara Bockman, Brandman University, is Secretary; and Cruz Arroyo, St. Martin’s University, also serves on the Board.

ACME meetings at CCME: Most ACMEs are planning on holding general membership planning meetings at the CCME Symposium scheduled for February 2012 in Orlando’s Sea World Renaissance Hotel. Attendees might to attend those sessions, as well as the ACME General Session and the ACME Concurrent Session planned in conjunction with the conference. Most state ACME presidents plan on sharing the overall ACME agenda with potential attendees; but those attending the conference should double check the CCME conference agenda for specifics relative to time and place just in case there are some last minute changes.

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