Earlier this week, VA’s Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey met with student Veterans and school administrators at the Long Beach campus of California State University (CSULB). CSULB is a new VetSuccess on Campus location (VSOC), one of 94 now across the country.
Last week, I traveled to Florida State University (FSU) and Tallahassee Community College and talked to their graduating Veterans. Today, I travel to Norfolk to deliver the commencement address at two universities, Tidewater Community College and Saint Leo University. All of these schools have something in common – they have a VSOC counselor.
Through the VSOC program, VA places experienced vocational rehabilitation counselors on college campuses to assist the growing number of Veterans attending school under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other VA education benefit programs. Both FSU and CSULB share their counselors with partner community colleges in order to serve the largest number of student Veterans in their areas. A full list of VSOC schools can be found here.
On these trips to schools, I meet with campus administrators and student Veterans; discussing the needs of student Veterans who are currently attending schools and training and credential programs, learning valuable skills for their future civilian careers. The importance of ensuring that student Veterans have a “champion” on campus – to help them connect to the myriad services available and ensure they are successful in reaching their education and career goals – is clear.
VetSuccess is just one program helping to ensure student Veteran success. Schools across the country are providing additional Veterans services. One good example is Rutgers University. You can learn more about their services by watching this video: http://vimeo.com/80412543. Student Veterans of America is also serving students at campuses across the country. A list of schools promoting the President’s 8 Keys to Success can be found here and ones supporting the Principles of Excellence and Yellow Ribbon programs can be found on our GI Bill Comparison Tool.