A Veterans Center is planned to open next spring as a source of assistance and growth for veterans attending Vanguard and to make the transition from the military to civilian life.
“A Veterans Center truly adds an avenue in which we can help veterans succeed in education. Their biggest challenge is coming back and becoming a civilian and we want to provide resources that will help them do that well,” Jamie Brownlee, Director of the School of Professional Studies, said.
After some construction in the back offices of the SPS department, the center will be located on the second floor of Scott Academic Center and officially opened in Spring 2010. The center will be overseen by John Pelanne, who will assume the title of Veterans Center Coordinator.
Ruth Rivas, a Vanguard senior and cadet in the Army, thinks it will make the school more appealing to the military demographic.
“I think it’ll attract [veterans] who are applying to schools,” she said.
Currently, there are 24 active duty or veteran students attending Vanguard. The center will be a resource for them and for prospective veterans looking to continue their education after completing their military service.
“Any school that has a thriving veteran population has a Veteran Center dedicated to providing resources . . . helping them transition into civilian life. I wouldn’t want to actively recruit [verterans] if we didn’t have the support services in place so that they could succeed,” Brownlee said.
These prospective veterans are able to enroll in all academic programs at Vanguard, but they will likely join the SPS program due to the flexible nature of each class which meets once a week and lasts for five weeks.
The primary goal of the center is the availability of a support system that will provide resources and mentoring. One way the Veterans Center will provide mentoring and resources is through an orientation class that would aid the process of transitioning back into civilian life. There is a large amount of significance placed on partnership and teamwork through the availability of the center because of how ingrained these ideas are within the military.
“It’s really about helping them succeed in their collegiate career and beyond,” Pelanne said.