Wayne State University has earned the “Veteran Friendly” designation in recognition of the quality of its programs and services offered to military veteran students.
The survey, conducted by The Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency, uses seven criteria to determine the level of support provided to student veterans and military-connected students on campus. Military-connected students include veteran spouses and dependents, along with National Guard, Reservists and active duty service members.
Wayne State also received the Gold-level designation awarded to institutions that meet six or more of the following criteria:
- Established process for identification of current student veterans
- Veteran-specific website
- Active student-operated veterans club or association
- Veteran-specific career services, resources, advising and/or outcome monitoring
- On-campus veterans coordinator and/or designated staff point of contact
- System to evaluate and award credit based on prior military training and experience
- Monitoring and evaluation of student veteran academic retention, transfer and graduation rates
“It truly is an honor to see the efforts of our OMVAE (Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence) team recognized by the state of Michigan,” says Matt McLain, OMVAE assistant director. “While our student veterans provide all the motivation we need, any opportunity to compare and contrast our services with peer institutions across the state is taken as an opportunity to learn and grow.”
McLain points out that veterans, by definition, are nontraditional students who bring a unique set of circumstances with them. “Recognizing that student veterans are transitioning both from the military and into college life provides the insight necessary to be not only reactive, but also proactive in developing a robust support structure that will help them succeed.”
U.S. Marine Corps veteran and political science major David Pitawanakwat says that, for many veterans, “serving” doesn’t end when they take off the uniform. “Unfortunately, transitioning out of military service is and has been one of the biggest obstacles facing veterans to date; the Student Veterans Organization has given me a platform to continue serving with other veterans, past and present, while OMVAE has given me the resources to get to the finish line and graduate. The SVO-OMVAE team is instrumental to the success of veterans at Wayne State and a pillar of our diverse campus community.”
OMVAE has partnered with units around the university to develop special programming designed to benefit veterans.
The Warrior Reboot Program, in partnership with the English and math departments, offers a one-week refresher “boot camp” to prepare student veterans for their math and English placement exams.
The Student Resource Center, located in Suite 687 of the Student Center Building, provides a space on campus where student veterans can gather for personal and academic support. Services include tutoring and supplemental instruction, academic support services, and assistance with benefit processing.
VetPAC (Veteran Personal Academic Contract Program) is a voluntary program designed by the OMVAE to provide additional support to students who may be at risk or struggling academically. The support includes intrusive advising, tutoring resources and an individual plan designed to help them reach their academic goals.
The Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program awards academic credit for prior military health care training. An accelerated 18-month program tailored to veterans who have earned at least 30 college credits and/or have a military healthcare background. Completion will result in a bachelor of science in nursing and prepare the graduate to take the RN NCLEX exam.