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By submitting this request for more information, you are giving your express written consent for Lindenwood University and its partners to contact you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone or text - including our use of automated technology for calls and periodic texts to the wireless number you provide. Message and data rates may apply. This consent is not required to purchase good or services and you may always email us directly, including to opt out, at [email protected].

Home Blog Resource Guide for Veterans Centers on College Campuses

Resource Guide for Veterans Centers on College Campuses

July 6, 2024

Contributing Author: Alley Bardon

7 mins read

Navigating the college experience can be challenging for any student, but military students deal with a unique set of obstacles during this transitional time in their lives. Choosing a college that offers a veteran resource center will ensure that you have the tailored support that you need and deserve as you work toward earning your degree. 

Needs of Student Veterans

Student veterans have had different life experiences than traditional college students, many of whom are enrolling in university-level courses after earning their high school diploma. Student veterans are defined as those who served in the military and are pursuing a degree after returning to civilian life, which means that their college experience is taking place during a tumultuous transitional period. Identifying and understanding the needs of student veterans can help professionals at the campus veteran center to provide the resources and services that these students require.

Challenges and Experiences Faced by Student Veterans in Transition

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, student veterans face a unique set of challenges based on their experiences serving in the military, such as: 

  • Managing physical disabilities that occurred because of their service in the military, which can make it difficult to attend class in-person. 
  • Managing emotional and mental health concerns that are the result of their service in the military, which can make it hard to connect with classmates who did not have similar experiences. 
  • Balancing school and family life, as 47 percent of student veterans have children. 

Importance of Tailored Support Services and Resources for Student Veterans

While all students deserve to have personalized support throughout their college experience, it's incredibly important that student veterans receive tailored support services that consider their experiences in the military. Nearly half of student veterans are married and have children, and more than 62 percent of student veterans are first-generation college students. With that said, they require enhanced support that allows them to get the help they need to be successful throughout college. 

Role of Veterans Centers on College Campuses

The demand for veteran centers on college campuses is increasing, particularly as university and college administrators work to improve inclusivity on their campuses. According to Community Psychology, veteran centers play a pivotal role on campus. Primarily, these facilities provide student veterans with a safe and welcoming space where they can go to receive tailored support. A college campus can be very overwhelming for someone transitioning into civilian life, and a veteran center can feel like a haven for student veterans. 

Veterans Centers Mission to Support Student Veterans

The mission of any student veteran resource center is to provide student veterans with the tailored support they need. The individuals who work at these resource centers are familiar with the experiences of serving in the military, and they understand the unique needs of these students. Their goal is to provide students with the support and guidance they need to take advantage of the benefits of the G.I. Bill, to navigate campus life and to succeed in their courses. 

A veteran resource center should work to ease the transition for student veterans. It should also empower student veterans to pursue their degree, cultivate a safe space for all student veterans on campus, and create a sense of community engagement that allows student veterans to feel welcome and included in campus life. 

Services and Resources Offered by Veterans Centers

Some of the services and resources offered by veteran centers include: 

  • Mentorship Opportunities 
  • Networking Opportunities 
  • Tutoring 
  • Career Development Programs 
  • Counseling Services 
  • Wellness Resources 

Benefits and Resources Available to Student Veterans

The G.I. Bill ensures that there is veteran student aid available for those who want to pursue a degree after serving in the military. Knowing the benefits available through the G.I. Bill and what resources are available to you on a particular campus can help you make the best decision for you and your family during this transitional time. 

Educational Benefits and Financial Aid Options Available

Student veterans may be qualified for a range of educational benefits and financial aid packages. Student veterans may be eligible for

  • Interest-free student loans. 
  • Education grants. 
  • Military scholarships. 

The goal of these benefits and financial aid programs is to ensure that student veterans have the funding they need to pursue a degree after completing their military service. 

Strategies for Academic Challenges and Educational Goals

Student veterans struggling to reach their educational goals can look to the veteran resource center for support. Some of the best ways to support veterans struggling academically are to increase promotional campaigns to ensure student veterans are aware of the resources available to them, provide tailored tutoring services specifically for student veterans, and offer a transition course to help student veterans adapt to civilian life on campus. 

Additional Resources Offered by Veterans Centers

In addition to helping students access and utilize their financial and educational benefits, a student veteran resource center may offer additional support such as: 

  • Disability Accommodations 
  • Tutoring 
  • Wellness Services 
  • Counseling Services 
  • Transition Assistance Programs 

Peer Support and Networking Opportunities

The isolation of transitioning back to civilian life can be overwhelming, particularly for student veterans on college campuses surrounded by peers who have had very different life experiences than them. A veteran resource center can provide student veterans with an opportunity to enjoy peer support and other networking opportunities. This can help ease the loneliness and feelings of isolation that they may be experiencing. 

Importance of Peer Support Among Student Veterans

Student veterans are more likely to succeed both academically and socially when they feel connected to their peers on campus. Campus involvement has long been shown to improve success rates among students. However, peer support is particularly important for student veterans, as their experiences are so vastly different from others who may be working toward their degrees. 

Networking Opportunities and Organizations Through Veterans Centers

Veterans’ centers can provide customized networking opportunities for student veterans, many of whom may be hoping to build upon their military experience as they launch their civilian career. These networking events and activities can help student veterans feel more connected to their campus and feel more confident as they work to immerse themselves in the local community. 

Career Development and Transition Assistance

Throughout their military careers, student veterans accrued valuable life experiences and relevant skills, much of which they will be interested in applying to their civilian career. A student veteran resource center can provide them with tailored support as they seek to build upon their military foundation and grow their career prospects. 

Career Development for Student Veterans

Student veterans may need support as they seek to expand their current skill set and launch a career both professionally and personally rewarding. The top career development services for student veterans include: 

  • Providing students with access to job openings in the local area or in their field. 
  • Offering student veterans resume tips and advice to help them present themselves and their military experience in the best possible way. 
  • Sharing information about partner organizations that actively work to hire student veterans. 
  • Offering career readiness programs that have been customized to meet the unique needs of student veterans. 

Transition Assistance Programs Offered by Veterans Centers

Transition assistance programs are targeted support programs that help student veterans transition from active-duty military life to civilian life. This transition can be notoriously overwhelming and daunting, particularly for student veterans who have served for a significant period. Transition assistance programs are designed to meet the social, emotional, physical, and academic needs of student veterans transitioning. 

Mental Health and Wellness Support

Due to the experiences of student veterans, they may be at higher risk of developing mental health disorders while transitioning to civilian life and pursuing a degree on a college campus. It's not uncommon for student veterans to suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health challenges. This makes it incredibly important that veteran resource centers offer comprehensive counseling services and mental health care programs. 

Mental Health and Wellness Resources for Student Veterans

Student veterans deserve to have access to counselors trained to work with veterans and other military-connected students, as this allows them to receive the empathetic and customized support that they need. In addition to providing counseling services, the student veteran resource center also should provide wellness resources that help veterans prioritize self-care while on campus. 

Self-Care and Addressing Mental Health in Student Veterans

The selflessness required to serve in the military makes it difficult for student veterans to prioritize self-care, which is why any student veteran resource center should amplify the wellness resources that they have available. Teaching student veterans the importance and power of self-care can help them learn to better manage their emotional health during this tenuous transition back to civilian life. 

Receive the Support You Need to Earn Your Degree at Lindenwood University

At Lindenwood University, we have a long and proven history of supporting military-affiliated students. If you are transitioning back to civilian life while earning your degree, our student veteran resource center can provide you with the support that you need to successfully earn your degree. 

Request more information about our online degree programs and learn more about how we support student veterans at our university.  

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