Wheelock Center of Excellence for Military Children and Families
Dr. Shirley Malone-Fenner, Director
Marsha Wilson, Faculty Assistant
School of Arts and Sciences
Boston, MA 02215
The Wheelock Center of Excellence for Military Children and Families was established by Wheelock College in collaboration with the Massachusetts National Guard and the Military Child Education Coalition® to draw attention to the many services available to aid military children and families, maximizing the visibility of military support systems and offering the resources of the Wheelock community to military families.
With the rise in multiple and prolonged deployments of guard and reservists, military families increasingly face stressors unique to cycles of separation and reunion that can adversely affect family stability and functionality.
As a result, the social, emotional, and intellectual development of service members and their families are threatened. The parent-child relationship is also endangered by prolonged separation leading to additional stress within the family.
With the anticipated return of hundreds of thousands of military service men and women from active duty over the next several years, more families will face these and new challenges. In particular, the increased reliance on guard and reservists poses special challenges for these military families and children who are too often isolated from the social and service networks of bases.
Center Goals and Programs
GOAL 1: To strengthen the role of returning soldiers and their spouses as parents, thus preventing potentially harmful impacts on children's healthy development
- Military Counseling Certificate
- Training for military-related service providers
- Supporting trainings for community leaders and care providers working with military connected families: Military Senior Leaders Forum, the Military Child Education Coalition® Living in the New Normal InstituteTM (LINN-I TM), and the Military Child Education Coalition® Guard and Reserve InstituteTM. Training locations include: Wheelock campus, Worcester, and Bridgewater
- Jumpstart at Wheelock Military Engagement Program
- Participation in the Yellow Ribbon Transition Program to reintegrate military members returning home
- Partnerships to support military connected children including: The Military Child Education Coalition® , Early Care and Education, The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)/Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®) National Panel, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation
GOAL 2: To support the deployment/redeployment needs of military guard and reservists, who are at greater risk of not receiving support and services
- Counseling Center program
- Intervention programs for military connected students
- Support groups for deployed loved ones
- Collaboration with the Tri-AD Veterans League, Inc. to enhance health, education, and cultural services for Veterans
- Collaboration with the Career Planning Office to post military job opportunities (civilians working in military settings) for teachers and human services providers
GOAL 3: Build capacity for continuous learning that informs ongoing research, practice, and policies related to the critical needs of service members