University Business November/December 2019 - 34

VICTORIES FOR VETS
Catherine Orozco-Christmas, director of
the university's Veteran Higher Education
Resource and Opportunity Center.
Through partnerships with other university departments, SALUTE also funds
student success services such as financial
literacy workshops and graduate school
tours. And about one-third of students
using the GI Bill at Central Oklahoma
pursue careers in education through the
university's College of Education and the
national Troops to Teachers organization,
Orozco-Christmas says.
Beyond its own campus, the university
offers assistance to veterans headed to other
four- and two-year institutions. It is also
a host of the federal STRIPES-Veterans
Upward Bound program. Staff members
provide preenrollment counseling to any
veteran who is disabled, a first-generation
student or low-income, or has been out of
school for five years.
The program served 130 veterans in
2018-19, and 125 in 2017-18.
The university has also become a source
of expertise on veterans issues in Oklahoma, which has the 10th-largest population of veterans in the country. Work by
several university departments resulted in
new state legislation that has improved veterans' access to health care, says Kinders.
'Not there to mess around'
When applicants to the University of
South Florida identify themselves as veterans, admissions coordinators are alerted
and can ensure that these prospective students are contacted by support staff.
The Tampa-area university has made
that communication a priority. Over the
past 10 years, its Office of Veteran Suc-

More online: Take a deeper dive
into connecting faculty
with veterans:
UBmag.me/vetconnect
More coverage
on student success:
UBmag.me/success
34 | November/December 2019

CAMPUS SUPPORTS FOR
STUDENTS WHO ARE VETERANS
Veteran demographics
Compared with traditional students,
veterans tend to:
* Be older
* Be out of high school
for more years
* Be married
and/or have children
* Work (part time or full time)
* Prefer distance
and evening courses

EASTERN
MICHIGAN
UNIVERSITY
Warm handoffs,
in which veteran
services staff
personally introduce
students to deans
and academic
advisors

UNIVERSITY OF
CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
Annual service projects,
including yoga classes
and diversity seminars

PROGRAM
HIGHLIGHTS

UNIVERSITY OF
SOUTH FLORIDA
Student success
courses, which
help veterans
navigate higher
ed and prepare
for careers

THE UNIVERSITY
OF TEXAS AT DALLAS
VETworking events and VETiquette dinners,
which connect students with local employers
and teach them proper business etiquette

cess has grown from two staff members
to a dozen full- and part-time employees,
along with 30 students in the work-study
program. "Once you can show university
leadership how many veterans you have
and that you're tracking them, it becomes
easier to ask for resources," says Larry
Braue, the retired Army lieutenant colonel
who directs the office.
Along with a veterans-only orientation,
resources include two upper-level student
success electives. The first course guides
incoming veterans through academic
planning, study skills and maximizing GI
Bill funds.

The second class focuses on employment opportunities. Experts from the
region help veterans prepare résumés and
practice mock interviews. Instructors also
direct veterans to regional job networking
events, Braue says.
As for academics, his office hires veterans to tutor other veterans. It also hosts
social events, including football tailgating parties for military-connected families and an academic awards ceremony.
And its programs extend beyond veterans.
Faculty, staff and other students can participate in training programs that help them
understand military culture, Braue says.
UniversityBusiness.com


http://www.UBmag.me/vetconnect http://www.UBmag.me/success http://www.UniversityBusiness.com

University Business November/December 2019

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