James (Jim) Cronin
Hall of Fame Class of 2017
James (Jim) Cronin’s passion for military student success is reflected in his career. Over the years, he has collaborated with VA agencies, non-profit groups, and other independent organizations to secure resources that enhance the holistic well-being of student veterans and military-affiliated students. His drive to help military students succeed makes him a leader in adult continuing education.
Cronin has a long history of contributions to military adult education. His service in the military and his will to give back to servicemembers by working on their behalf led to him to take a job at UMUC. Currently, he is serving as vice president of the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) for its Asian Division, responsible for administrating 33 UMUC locations. In his initial years at UMUC, he learned and thrived on working on automation, functionality, and business processes that would allow institutions to work efficiently and effectively within the various military portals. Throughout his UMUC career, Cronin planned, organized, and directed initiatives related to student veterans while assessing, monitoring, and tracking the needs of the student veteran population. He recommended new initiatives and resources to meet veteran student needs; maintained updated information on veteran services in the community; and served as a professional resource to the University’s staff and faculty regarding strategies for working with military-affiliated students. During his time at UMUC, Cronin has been willing to share lessons learned, best practices, resources, and ideas with the adult education community at large.
Cronin’s ability to forge effective partnerships with external organizations to work with military students has been his greatest contribution to the field. He assisted with the establishment of a strong partnership with the United States Army and IBM as they launched the eArmyU/GoArmyEd (GAE) portal, which was a game changer for not only the Army but also the higher academic community. Cronin built functional specifications and a standard operating procedure (SOP) for GAE’s integration to UMUC’s People Soft system and shared the procedures with colleagues at other institutions to facilitate their transition to the portal. Cronin also facilitated partnerships with key organizations to provide countless opportunities on an international scale for servicemembers to receive academic credit for portions of their military experience. These partnerships are of paramount importance to allow for seamless transfer of credits between academic institutions and the maximum award of credit for military experience. Cronin continues to be the consummate team player passionate about military students.
Cronin has received and accepted numerous invitations to serve on boards and committees outside his institution. He has served on several committees for the National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services (NAIMES), a member-driven organization that advocates for the military student and partners with the military education community for the betterment of off-duty voluntary education programs. As a member of NAIMES Policy and Issues Committee, Cronin was instrumental in crafting correspondence for the Chief of DoD’s Voluntary Education Program that helped guide decision-making as new DoD policy was developed and implemented.