The discussion was hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.
Col. Lou Ortiz, director of Texas Tech University's Military & Veterans Programs, participated today (March 9) in a roundtable discussion about the educational opportunities for service members and veterans, hosted by the House Committee of Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.
The discussion centered on the post-Sept. 11 G.I. Bill, an education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty in the U.S. military after Sept. 10, 2001, and how to make modern learning avenues more accessible for veterans.
"It was a privilege to represent Texas Tech University and our student veterans from across the state at today's roundtable," Ortiz said. "This was a unique opportunity to share ideas with lawmakers on the subcommittee and fellow panelists on how we may better serve the educational needs of the veterans who have honorably served our nation."
Rep. Jodey Arrington, who represents the Lubbock area in the U.S. House of Representatives, invited Ortiz to participate in the roundtable.
"Education is the key to success, and we must continually seek new ways to give our veterans access to modern-day learning avenues and educational opportunities," Arrington said. "As chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, I was proud to welcome Lou Ortiz – a fellow Red Raider – to Washington as we discussed how Texas Tech University is contributing to this effort."
The Military & Veterans Programs are designed to assist military personnel, veterans and their families in transitioning from military to civilian life. The programs establish educational benefits, encourage campus and community engagement and provide a positive experience through degree completion and on to a successful future.
"As institutions of higher learning, it is incumbent on us to ensure greater accessibility to those who have given selflessly on behalf of our country," said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. "Veterans like Col. Ortiz and those who make up the office of Military & Veterans Programs provide an important link in ensuring our veterans, those currently serving and their families are afforded every avenue to seamlessly continue their education."
Texas Tech has received multiple honors for its efforts to aid service members and veterans. It was ranked among the top 10 colleges in the country for veterans by USA Today, recognized as the first Purple Heart University in Texas and recognized as military friendly by G.I. Jobs since 2010 and by Military Advanced Education & Transition since 2012. Texas Tech is also a military friendly employer, as selected by the Military Officers Association of America; a campus partner in "Got Your 6," a national campaign that supports veterans' transition to civilian life; and a participant in the Tool Kit for Veteran Friendly Institutions program. Military Times has ranked it Best For Vets for both the Rawls College of Business and for the university as a whole.
"Col. Ortiz is a respected, national leader in higher education for veterans," Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert L. Duncan said. "We place a high priority on veterans' education within the Texas Tech University System – not only at our flagship institution, Texas Tech University, but also at Angelo State University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. Texas Tech and Angelo State have been recognized as Military Friendly Schools by G.I. Jobs every year since 2010. Our veterans have sacrificed so much, and the Texas Tech University System is proud to partner with them as they pursue their education."