In a previous blog post, I wrote about how you can be a superstar advocate and ally to student veterans.
Now, let’s look at other campuses that have gone above and beyond in supporting their portion of the at least 900,000 student veterans enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs today. I hope they will inspire you in your own efforts and goals for supporting student veterans.
The University of Texas at San Antonio
- An orientation program specific to veterans aimed at providing “a one-stop source of information for all prospective and enrolled student veterans and their families”
- The VetSuccess on Campus program designed and run in partnership with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans with on-campus vocational counselors
- A giving fund that provides student veterans with direct funding for “emergent needs including housing, food, emergency vehicle repairs, and assistance with utilities”
Fox Valley Technical College
- The Envoy Program in which veteran participants learn from area business leaders who serve as mentors and business trainers. Upon completion, participants earn two college credits and create a plan to launch and grow a small business.
- A one-stop-shop student resource page dedicated to helping student veterans find help for common needs, whether through an on-campus service, local veteran center, or a national helpline. Topics include debt management, transitional housing, and crisis lines.
The University of Georgia
- Corporate Connect, an ongoing program that connects student veterans with employers interested in hiring veterans
- A bi-weekly newsletter written by and for student veterans with all kinds of helpful information ranging from veteran discounts, honor cords, scholarships, and student org opportunities
- A five-step Pathway to Success program that seeks to build a support network for individual veterans — from orientation all the way through to graduation
- The Veterans at Ease program dedicated to supporting student veterans to “return to and thrive in civilian and academic life”
- A veteran-adapted section of The Nature and Experience of Religion — a course required of all Manhattan College students. This veterans section of the course includes an introduction to “yogic theories of mind and to the value of meditation, yoga, and other stress-reduction techniques.”
- The Veteran College and Career Transition Summer Program, a 7-credit, 8-week, summer program for student veterans and their dependents. The program includes the “courses, skills and connections crucial to successfully transition into college and into a future career.”
- Annual Veteran’s Day events that include guest speakers, a veterans dinner, a flag-raising ceremony, and card-signing for deployed troops
The College of William & Mary
- A Troops to Teachers Center dedicated to helping student veterans become licensed teachers by assisting with licensure and credential reviews. Financial assistance is also available.
- A military science department that educates both veterans and non-military affiliated students on the history and science behind the military. Veterans can be granted automatic credit for these courses based on their service experiences.
- The Puller Veterans Clinic, which offers law-focused courses about veteran disability benefits, legal research, veteran advocacy, psychological challenges, and legal issues facing service members and veterans
The University of Connecticut
- A Living and Learning Community for student veterans with a mission of “helping veterans navigate the complexities of the college experience and making a successful transition from military life to civilian life.”
- The Husky Vet Gazette, a monthly newsletter for student veterans published by the Office of Veterans Affairs & Military Programs
- A featured veteran student of the month on their website
- An annual veterans care package drive during the holidays
The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
- A Veterans Resource Center that offers academic and life skills workshops in a wide variety of areas including learning styles, test preparation, note-taking, time management, stress management, financial literacy, and wellness
- The Veterans Upward Bound program that focuses on helping first-generation and low-income veterans refresh their studying skills, prepare for the GED, and explore career options prior to college enrollment
- Military Appreciation Days honoring veterans and active duty students and staff with plaque dedications, flag raisings, performances of the national anthem, food, games, and more
Columbus State University
- A Suits for Vets campaign that encourages local businesses to donate suits and clothing to help veterans enter the workforce with less financial burden. Student vets can also attend a career services workshop about professional attire.
- A Student Veterans Association “dedicated to making CSU a better place for our military families.”
- Transfer credit and test-out options for studies, courses, and training completed in the military
- The Green Zone initiative, which aims to help student veterans identify staff advocates across campus via an online list and a logo on their office door, similar to Safe Zone stickers that identify LGBTQIA+ affirming spaces and staff members
- A dedicated Veterans Services Coordinator who meets one-on-one with student veterans to advise them on meeting their academic and personal goals
- A partnership with the American Legion to give Legion family members, Auxiliary members, and Sons of the American Legion tuition discounts.
- Priority course registration for veterans each semester
- The only Fallen Star Memorial on a college campus. Goodwin hosts reflection activities on Memorial Day, Flag Day, and September 11th to honor military members who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The University of Southern Mississippi
- A partnership with the Marine Corps Leadership-Scholar Program that assists marines with university applications, essays, and interviews
- An auxiliary program in collaboration with the Coast Guard to develop (military and interested non-military) students as leaders and technical talents for a career in the government, public service, emergency response, or the Coast Guard
Quinebaug Valley Community College
- A Veteran’s Garden in the center of campus featuring bricks engraved with the names of those who have served. New bricks are added each Veteran’s Day. Bricks can be purchased by the vets themselves, by anyone who’d like to honor a family member or friend who served, or in memory of a veteran.
- The Veteran Oasis Center which houses the veteran student support organization and aims to “improve access to education and health benefits, retention, and degree attainment for our veterans and service persons”
Montana State University
- The Veteran Support Center, which partners closely with Disability Services, Financial Aid, and the Center for Student Success to ensure student veterans have access to the resources they need
- Free personal mental health counseling for veteran students with a counselor trained in veteran needs and experiences
- A veteran mentorship program that connects incoming veteran students with a peer mentor (either a veteran or spouse of a veteran) to help the new student successfully navigate campus
Designing a strong veteran service program is no easy task, but the benefits — to individual students and the institution as a whole — can be monumental.
Interested in learning more about how you can support student veterans? Check out our podcast episode with Joe Schumacher, Montana State’s Director of Veteran Services.
What awesome student veteran support services have you brought to your campus? Connect with us on Twitter @HelloPresence.