In commemoration of Veterans Day, we wanted to share with you two ACE member institutions that have initiated innovative programs and services for student veterans.
San Diego State University (SDSU)
With more than 3,000 military-affiliated students, totaling nearly 10 percent of the student body and one of the largest military populations in California, SDSU is committed to helping student veterans succeed.
One of the projects housed at the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center is the Military Ally program, an on-campus network of faculty, staff and student organizations formed to provide insight into the unique needs of military-connected students. Military Allies was inspired by a similar program at CSU Long Beach.
The goal of the program is two-fold: to create a safe and inclusive space for military-affiliated students; and to teach those who might not regularly interact with service members about military culture, what brings military-affiliated students to campus, and how to advocate for them both in the classroom and off-campus.
The SDSU Veterans Center hosts a seminar for Military Ally members consisting of slide presentations, interactive working groups and student panels.
More than 70 people have taken the training, according to SDSU. All who attend the Military Ally seminar are given resource materials and a placard to indicate their support of the military population.
Rio Salado College (AZ)
Rio Salado College, part of the Maricopa Community College District (AZ), in February 2011 created a “one-stop-shop” to give veterans and their families’ access to resources and assistance needed to successfully pursue a college education.
The Maricopa Community Colleges East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC) provides a wide variety of services so that student veterans feel prepared and empowered to embark on their studies after leaving the military. Some of the services offered include: classes on-site designed for veterans and their dependents; academic advising; assistance with admissions and financial aid applications; access to Rio Salado’s testing center; and free printing and computer services.
EVVEC also connects students to useful resources such as veteran focused job fairs and Veteran’s Upward Bound, provides onsite appointments with Department of Veteran’s Affairs Disability Services, and works with community partners to host a variety of events and provide students with valuable veteran friendly resources.
EVVEC provides this important and practical information at no cost to student veterans.