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Bill Would Help Deployed Military Personnel Complete Degrees, Regardless of Location

(TRENTON) – Assembly members Jack Conners, Herb Conaway Jr., M.D., and Annette Quijano are encouraging all New Jersey institutes of higher learning to join the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium.

Their bill (ACR-94) pushing for the step was recently released from the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

“Active duty deployment requires many sacrifices for the service men and women fighting to protect our freedoms,” said Conners (D-Camden/Burlington), the chairman of the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. “However, thanks to organizations like the SOC Consortium, a college education doesn’t have to be one of them.”

Founded in 1972, the SOC Consortium serves as a vehicle to help coordinate voluntary postsecondary educational opportunities for service members who are having trouble completing college degrees due to the frequent relocations required of active duty military personnel. The consortium currently consists more that 1,800 colleges and universities nationwide, including 27 in New Jersey.

he Conners/Conaway/Quijano concurrent resolution (ACR-94) requests and encourages each and every institution of higher learning in New Jersey to seek membership in the SOC Consortium.

“Encouraging New Jersey’s colleges and universities to joint the consortium will help provide educational opportunities to our military men and women no matter where they’re stationed,” said Conaway (D-Burlington/Camden). “Anything we can do to help ease the burden of service for these brave men and women is worth doing.”

“Service men and women seeking to improve their education should not be penalized because of their military obligations,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Encouraging New Jersey colleges and universities to become a part of the consortium will allow service members to continue their higher education no matter where in the state they’re stationed.”

The concurrent resolution now heads to the Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.

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