UWS adds one-stop resource center to help veterans, non-tradsA resource center to help non-traditional students and military veterans successfully navigate their way through college opens this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
A resource center to help non-traditional students and military veterans successfully navigate their way through college opens this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
The Center for Non-Traditional Students and Veterans provides a single location where students over age 24 and veterans can learn about benefits and support, and receive assistance in accessing services such as tutoring and financial aid. The center’s goal is to ease the students’ transition to university life and to help them to complete their degrees.
“The Center for Non-Traditional Students and Veterans will integrate all of our resources and support for non-traditional and veteran students,” said Vicki Hajewski, vice chancellor for Campus Life. “It will provide a place where they can go to learn about all the services we provide for students, to meet other students in situations similar to their own and get access to peer mentoring, career guidance, and support for their spouses and families.”
Non-traditional students are defined as those age 25 and older. UWS has about 400 non-traditional students attending classes on campus — a relatively high percentage for campuses in the University of Wisconsin System. Nearly all those students have family and job responsibilities, and many are returning to the classroom after long absences.
“These are students who are accessing our student support services in a different way than traditional students coming here right out of high school,” Hajewski said. “They often start out by taking one class, so they miss the orientation to campus services that we provide to new students. The center will enable us to expand our personal service to non-traditional students. They can go to the center to get help and feel comfortable asking questions there. Maybe they don’t even know what questions to ask, but the center is a place they can go to find out what they need to know.”
Among UWS’ non-traditional students are about 165 military veterans and current students in military service — a group that has grown significantly in recent years and is expected to continue growing as more active duty service members return to the region from Iraq and Afghanistan. Recent studies have shown the effectiveness of providing assistance to veterans making the transition from military life to college.
The Center for Non-Traditional Students and Veterans expands UWS’ existing services to veterans and makes them more visible to qualified students. The center also can provide a location for group meetings for students’ families, and workshops to develop skills such as stress management.
Overseeing the center will be a coordinator who will assist students, create programming, and supervise peer mentors. In addition, the university will expand a part-time position of veterans benefit coordinator to a full-time position.
The Center for Non-Traditional Students and Veterans opens in September in Old Main, Room 118. Funding for the center is provided by the University of Wisconsin System’s Growth Agenda for Wisconsin Grant Program.