Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans
The University of Michigan has established the U-M Council on Student Veterans, made up of various key offices and departments across campus including Admissions, Counseling Center, Financial Aid, VA Benefit Certification, Disability Office, Academic Advising, Housing, U-M student veteran organizations, and Veteran and Military Services. This website connects current student veterans and prospective student veterans, as well as supporting our faculty and staff in their assistance of students who have served. We communicate with our student veteran population through Facebook, e-mail, and face-to-face meetings.
Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership
Veterans and Military Services works across campus and off campus with stakeholders and others to further develop the services offered on campus. We also arrange meetings between our student veterans organization and U-M leadership.
Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming
U-M requires all undergraduates to attend academic-specific orientation before they register for classes. In addition, the university hosts a second, separate, orientation for student veterans. Our school and college advisors meet with all students whose GPA falls below a 2.0, and with students whose instructors feel may be experiencing an academic crisis. Help with behavior, health, or emotional issues are coordinated through the Dean of Students Office.
Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space for them (even if limited in size)
Because of our size and our very decentralized schools and colleges, a single designated space is not practical. However, we have central point of contact for all student veterans/military students. We also have a strong presence on Facebook, and a dedicated team approach to helping veterans and military succeed.
Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans
Veteran and Military Services partners with the Business Engagement Center and Career Center to provide opportunities to veterans and military members. VMSP also acts as a conduit for businesses, corporations, and government agencies wishing to target veteran/military students for recruitment. We are a VITAL and Vet Success campus, which means U-M has someone on campus from VA Healthcare (VITAL) and VA Benefits (Vet Success) periodically throughout the semester. U-M also has contacts with other veterans organizations including the American Legion and VFW. We partner with the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center through the Depression Center’s M-SPAN program, the School of Social Work, UMHS, the Department of Psychology, and the Veteran and Military Services Program.
Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention, and degree completion
U-M was a nationwide leader in the institutional collection of data at the admissions point of entry into the university. Along with other institutions, we advocated asking if students were Veterans, Active Duty Military, National Guard or Reserve, or Dependents. We are actively gathering information on persistence and graduation rates of veteran and military students.
Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans
The university has been informed of services for veterans since fall 2008. Since that time several events and training sessions have taken place to educate the campus community, including the 2010 Symposium on Student Veterans, yearly student panels during Veterans Day celebrations, and the 2013 M-SPAN “National Research Summit on Reserve Component Military Families.” The Program Director for Veteran and Military Services attends several conferences, symposiums, or consortium meetings a year discussing programs and research that support student veterans and military members.
Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans
We conduct periodic surveys, and work with our student organization leadership as well as the leadership of the university, to keep the program sustainable and effective.