Services to Students Who Are Military Veterans or Active-Duty
The University of Michigan has initiated a number of efforts to improve and expand services available to student veterans. The Office of New Student Programs (ONSP), a unit reporting to the Office of the Provost, is coordinating these efforts and serves as the hub for student veterans’ services at U-M.
In addition to services to student veterans, ONSP is dedicated to providing programs and services that assist all students in making a successful transition, both academically and personally, into the U-M community through such programs as Orientation, Welcome to Michigan, Arts at Michigan, Parent Orientation, Parents Weekend, University Mentorship, Transfer Connections and the U-M Educational Theatre Company.
In addition to resources offered to all University of Michigan students, the following services are available to student veterans at U-M:
Residency Classification Guidelines
Effective Spring Term 2008, the University’s Residency Classification Guidelines (Section D) were amended to provide military families with a greater opportunity to attend the University, and to bring the University of Michigan’s policies into line with those of other states. The amendment expands the military waiver provision to allow regular active-duty military personnel—who are stationed, but not living in Michigan—and their accompanying spouses and dependent children, to pay in-state tuition at the University, even though they may not be eligible to be classified as residents under the remaining Residency Classification Guidelines.
Student Veteran Assistance Program
The mission of the Student Veteran Program (SVAP) at the University of Michigan is to assist veterans, guardsmen, and reservists in making a successful transition into the U-M community. The veterans and military members living, working and receiving their education at U-M are a valued and vital component of our campus community. We recognize and honor their sacrifices and value their life experiences as they broaden the diversity of our staff, faculty, and student body. Additional information about SVAP is available online at http://www.vets.umich.edu/index.html
The U-M Student Veterans Services Coordinator Philip Larson (email@example.com) serves as transition specialist, coordinating services and resources for new and current student veterans to assist in their transition from military member to U-M student. A veteran of the United States Air Force (4 years) and the United States Air Force Reserve (3 years), Larson received his B.S. in biology and his M.S. in Student Affairs Administration, both from Indiana University. He served as a staff sergeant in the Air Force. Prior to joining the ONSP as Student Veterans Services Coordinator, Larson worked in student services at The Ohio State University and at Arkansas State University, where he designed and implemented a variety of programs for services for students. As U-M Student Veterans Services Coordinator, Larson:
- Chairs the U-M Council on Student Veterans.
- Works with the Student Veterans Advisory Committee to obtain feedback from student veterans on issues critical to their academic success and wellbeing.
- Works with other U-M units to accommodate the needs of students who are deploying or deployed.
- Coordinates staff development workshops for faculty and staff to understand the needs of student veterans.
- Oversees the online U-M Veteran’s Connection (www.vets.umich.edu), the “virtual office” of U-M Student Veterans Services.
- Develops specialized Orientation content for freshman and transfer student veterans.
- Develops and implements the Student Veterans Mentoring program to connect new student veterans with current students, faculty and staff who have military experience.
- Assists with the delivery of other mentoring programs within ONSP, including the University Mentorship Program for freshmen and the Transfer Connections mentoring program for new transfer students.
Advocacy on Behalf of Student Veterans
The Student Veteran Assistance Program provides advocacy services to student veterans, including:
- Provide resources and referrals to student veterans to help students understand and access all services and options available to them.
- Provide advocacy services to help student veterans resolve issues once usual procedures have been exhausted.
- Collaborate with other campus units to assure resolution of problems.
- Identify and eliminate institutional practices and policies that negatively impact student success or satisfaction.
- Act as an advocate for deployed military service members to facilitate efficient departures and returns.
- Serve as a liaison throughout the University to identify academic, administrative, and support services needed by deployed military service members.
U-M Veteran’s Connection: Virtual Office for Student Veterans
All prospective, new, and current student veterans—worldwide—can access the U-M Veteran’s Connection. This “virtual office” provides a central repository of key information about services and educational opportunities at U-M. The U-M Veteran’s Connection provides a clear and concise narrative that makes the University’s policies and procedures transparent and accessible, especially in terms of how they apply to individuals who are separating from the military.
U-M Council on Student Veterans
ONSP provides leadership to the U-M Council on Student Veterans. The Council serves as a campus-wide student veterans support team with representatives from several units of the University, including the Office of Undergraduate Admissions; Rackham School of Graduate Studies; University Housing; Office of Financial Aid; Registrar’s Office; Office of New Student Programs; Academic Advising in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts—the University’s largest academic unit; the Center for the Education of Women; and U-M Counseling and Psychological Services. Members of the Council have designated a “point person” within their respective units to work with student veterans and ensure their units are aware of issues that might affect student veterans in their transition from military to college life. The Council also provides information and works with other units regarding the needs of student veterans.
Student Veteran Campus Network
To facilitate the transition of student veterans into the U-M community and to enhance their overall experience at Michigan, the Student Veteran Campus Network provides a support network that connects prospective, new, and current U-M student veterans to a campus network of advocates.
Updated June 27, 2008.