Jump to main content

Impact of Campus Resources on Student Veteran Success

Vetrans Services Building

Karis Jentink
April 12, 2019

As education after military vocation becomes increasingly popular, it is important that we adapt our universities to help serve the individuals who have served our country. Veteran students are constantly faced with unconventional problems that traditional students never face. As Ricardo D. Torres states, “they encounter administrative complexities around activities such as processing their certificate of eligibility, residency verifications, Kicker processing, previous credential accumulation, applicability of credentials to degrees, remaining benefit on transfers, and branch of service requests and inconsistencies.” These complexities act as barriers for veteran students in their success both educationally and socially on campus.

Veteran students are forced to communicate separately with many different resources such as the Veterans Association (VA), Student Veterans Associations (SVA), their chosen university, ebenefits, and many more. Connecting with all of these can create confusion because of the inconsistencies in information and answers given

The University of Northern Colorado has a Veterans Services office located on-campus offering veteran-specific learning communities and providing a safe space where veterans can come and be understood. UNC’s Veterans Services offer their support by providing relationships to other veteran students and creating a community with mentor and peer dynamics. The Student Veterans of America released the statistic that if a student veteran trusts even 1 person during their education on campus, they are 75% more likely to succeed in their academic endeavors. One way we encourage this at UNC is through our new Battle Buddy program. A “Battle Buddy” is someone who you can be accountable to and simultaneously hold accountable. This is also someone whom you can find support in and vice versa. By having both veteran and non-veteran students work together and develop relationships, we can involve them more in the academic community and create a space where this population can feel welcomed and understood.

Ultimately, because veterans come from a very non-traditional background in the collegiate community, it is important to accommodate their unique and individual needs in order to help them succeed. A great way to start initiate this is to connect veterans with someone on campus whom they trust and can got to for support. UNC is assisting in both of these areas by offering a Veterans Services center where students can have access to resources, coffee, and a safe environment as well as implementing this new “Battle Buddy” program in attempt to give veteran students a support system and social connection on campus.

About Author: 

Karis Jentink is in her sophomore year here at UNC studying dietetics with a minor in Japanese. She has been working with Veterans Services for the past 6 months and is passionate about serving the men and women who serve our country. She enjoys baking, sitting in the sun, and making people smile with her knowledge of puns. She hopes to help the general population at UNC understand the importance of providing support through resources and community for our veterans on campus.