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The Veterans Center. APAC Brownbag November 9, 2011. Welcome* Objectives. Simple Objectives for this afternoon: Develop awareness and understanding of student veterans on the UW campus Learn about the mission and future of the Veterans Center

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The veterans center

The Veterans Center

APAC Brownbag

November 9, 2011

Welcome objectives

  • Simple Objectives for this afternoon:

    • Develop awarenessand understanding of student veterans on the UW campus

    • Learn about the mission and future of the Veterans Center

    • Overview of benefits and resources available to student veterans

Important principles
Important Principles

  • This is not about being a Republican, Democrat, or other political party you support.

  • This is not about your personal beliefs of military, war, foreign affairs, government.

  • Not all veterans are the same.

  • This is about supporting an extraordinary population of students on our UW campus.

  • This is about Serving Students Together.

Uw goals
UW Goals

  • We want to be ready to serve the unique needs of student veterans on the UW campus.

  • We want to provide services and educational experiences that will welcome veterans to our campus and ensure their success.

  • At the UW, we want to be a veteran friendly and a veteran effective campus.

Uw veterans
UW Veterans

Seattle Campus: Student Veterans and Dependents: 934*

Veterans: 663

Dependents: 271

Undergraduate: 666

Graduate: 268

Male: 620

Female: 314

Receiving Benefits: 794

Tacoma Campus: 373

Bothell Campus: 132

*Are there more?

What do veterans bring with them to campus
What do Veterans Bring with them to Campus?

Unique Experiences

Military Values


VA Educational Benefits

Unique experiences of student veterans
Unique Experiences of Student Veterans

  • Military Basic Training

  • War Zone Stressors

  • Battlemind to Homemind

  • Issues from War Zone

  • Common readjustment issues to civilian and campus life

Military basic training
Military Basic Training

  • Self-discipline

  • Loyalty

  • Sacrifice

  • Obedience

  • Esprit de corps (morale, comradeship, and purpose)

War zone stressors
War Zone Stressors

  • Environmental

    • Sandstorms

    • Extreme Heat

  • Wounds/Injuries

  • Respiratory Illness

  • Weight related fractures

  • Separation from family

  • Multiple and Extended Deployments

  • Military sexual trauma

  • Burden of Killing

  • Car and roadside bombs

Battlemind to homemind combat zone to the home zone
Battlemind to Homemind~combat zone to the home zone~

  • Buddies (Cohesion) vs. Withdrawal

  • Accountability vs. Controlling

  • Targeted Aggression vs. Inappropriate Aggression

  • Tactical Awareness vs. Hypervigilance

  • Lethally Armed vs. Locked and Loaded @ Home

  • Emotional Control vs. Anger/Detachment

  • Mission Operational Security vs. Secretiveness

  • Individual Responsibility vs. Guilt

  • Non-Defensive (combat) driving vs. Aggressive Driving

  • Discipline and Ordering vs. Conflict

Issues from war zone
Issues from War Zone

  • Physical Injuries

    • Amputees

    • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Invisible Wounds

    • PTSD

    • Depressive Disorders

    • Neurotic Disorders

    • Mild TBI

Issues from war zone1
Issues from War Zone

  • Alcohol/Drugs

  • Survivor Guilt

  • Worry about those left behind

  • Domestic Violence

  • Divorce

  • Suicide

  • Avoidance of certain jobs, classes, people

  • Stuck Development

Common readjustment issues to civilian and campus life
Common Readjustment Issues to Civilian and Campus Life

  • Reliving war zone

  • Difficulty being in crowds or driving on interstates

  • Feeling cut-off and alienated from other people

  • Desire to isolate

  • Trouble falling asleep

  • Feeling anxious, easily startled

  • Angry and irritable with loved ones and authority figures

  • Loss of interest or sense of enjoyment with life

  • Trouble concentrating and paying attention

  • Navigating multiple student service offices on campus

  • Unique social barriers with student body as a result of age and experience

  • Loss of sense of purpose, teamwork and camaraderie experienced while serving; need for cohesive interaction with “true” peers.

Common reactions from veterans starting college

Feelings of excitement

Feeling confused

Feelings of doubt regarding decisions to attend college

Feeling overwhelmed

Feeling alone or lost

Feelings of indebtedness to spouse, family, & financial debt

Common Reactions From Veterans Starting College…

Behavior that may indicate problems

Not retaining course material

Self-isolating; not connecting with other students

Not reaching out to faculty or staff and need assistance

Acting moody or irritable most days

Drinking or using drugs to excess

Not getting along with those they care about

Zoning out during class or while studying

Behavior That May Indicate Problems…

Military values
Military Values

  • Loyalty

  • Duty

  • Respect

  • Selfless Service

  • Honor

  • Integrity

  • Personal Courage


  • Mature

  • Clear and serious priorities

  • Confident

  • Courageous

  • Cross-cultural knowledge

  • Determined

  • Disciplined

  • Focused

More strengths
More Strengths

  • Goal directed

  • Focused, sense of purpose, goal directed

  • Inner strength

  • Persevere

  • Problem solving skills

  • Responsible

  • Sense of purpose

Simple approaches to supporting student veterans
Simple approaches to supporting student veterans

  • Be mindful of symbols and signage in your office- is it veteran friendly?

  • Try to minimize the bureaucracy

  • Provide clear and concise information and instructions

  • Listen, and be supportive

  • Make appropriate referrals

  • The adjustment period transition back to civilian life varies from veteran to veteran

  • Avoid generalizing about all soldiers. Don’t confuse the war with the warrior. Veterans entered the military for a variety of reasons (patriotism, educational benefits, family traditions, learn job skills, etc.) They served because of a sworn oath.

When issues arise we can encourage student veterans to
When Issues Arise, We Can Encourage Student Veterans To… varies from veteran to veteran

  • Consult the Veterans Center

  • Share concerns with instructors or advisors

  • Find mentors with whom they can meet for guidance & support

  • Encourage them to get tested for any learning disorder that may be creating cognitive difficulty

  • Seek out further assessment for symptoms

Uw resources
UW Resources varies from veteran to veteran

  • Veterans Center

  • Counseling Center

  • The Career Center

  • Health and Wellness

  • Disability Resources for Students

Local va resources
Local VA Resources varies from veteran to veteran

American Lake and Seattle VA Medical Centers:

800-329-8387 or 206-764-2636

(Includes the Deployment Health Clinic and services geared specifically to women veterans).

Vet Centers:

Seattle Vet Center 206-553-2706

Everett Vet Center 425-252-9701

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

The uw veterans center
The UW Veterans Center varies from veteran to veteran

  • The Veterans Center is a place where veterans can connect with other veterans and resources specifically developed for them…a place where veterans can find and build their community.

  • The Veterans Center provides direct service and referrals to variety of campus and community resources…to help veterans balance their personal and academic lives.

The uw veterans center1
The UW Veterans Center varies from veteran to veteran

  • The Veterans Center is here to support and enhance the experience of veterans on the UW campus

Veterans center direct service and referrals
Veterans Center varies from veteran to veteranDirect Service and Referrals

  • Financial aid counseling

  • VA educational benefits

  • Academic advising

  • Admissions counseling

  • Career counseling and exploration

  • Disability resources

  • Health and Wellness

  • Connections to community resources

Veteran center statistics
Veteran Center statistics varies from veteran to veteran


# of In- person visits: 3,559

# of phone calls answered: 3,119

# of emails responded to: 6,217

# of students receiving Ch. 33 benefits: 587

$ value of Ch. 33 tuition/fee payments: $5.6million

The role of a school certifying official
The role of a School Certifying Official varies from veteran to veteran

Cindy Metzger

Tina Tanaka

  • Generally, the first point of contact a veteran has at the UW

  • Guides the veteran through applying for their VA educational benefits

  • Certifies enrollment and tuition/fees to VA

  • Advocates on veterans behalf if problems varies from veteran to veteran

  • Maintain student files, tracking grades and academic progress.

  • Notify the VA when students are not in compliance.

  • Audited each year by three VA regulating bodies at the state and federal levels.

Va educational benefits
VA varies from veteran to veteranEducational Benefits

  • POST 9/11 – CH. 33 - Veterans, AD, Reserves and National Guard with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001. Covers tuition & fees, gives a monthly living allowance and a book stipend. May be transferred to dependents.

    • Pays “net” resident tuition/fees: report to VA in-state tuition/fees minus any tuition specific aid/waivers. VA will pay accordingly up to students benefit level.

    • Monthly BAH $1400 Must be greater than half time, prorated for less than full time

    • Books and Supplies Stipend $41.67 per credit- max $1000 per academic year

Va educational benefits1
VA varies from veteran to veteranEducational Benefits

  • MGIB/CH. 30 –Veterans and Active Duty who fulfilled an enlistment contract. Provides a monthly living allowance.

  • RESERVES/CH. 1606 –Reserves and National Guard who are currently drilling are eligible. Provides a monthly living allowance.

  • REAP/CH. 1607 – Reserves and National Guard who served at least 90 days active duty and are currently drilling. Provides a monthly living allowance.

  • DEA/CH. 35 - Dependents of 100% disabled or deceased veterans. Provides a monthly living allowance.

Uw tuition waivers reductions
UW TUITION WAIVERS / REDUCTIONS varies from veteran to veteran

  • Tuition Reduction for Veterans

    (Undergraduate Students) (50%)

    Tuition Reduction for Veterans

    (Grad/Prof Students) (50%)

  • Tuition Waiver for Children or Spouse of a Disabled/Deceased/MIA/POW Veteran(Undergraduate Students) (100%)

Maintaining eligibility for benefits
Maintaining Eligibility for Benefits varies from veteran to veteran

  • After 90 credits, student needs to declare a major and be following a specific course of study.

  • Restrictions on benefits - benefits aren’t payable for dropped classes, X grades, withdrawals, classes that don’t meet graduation requirements, and >180 credits.

  • The VA makes exceptions for extenuating circumstances (forms for various situations signed by academic advisors to explain)

Approved programs
Approved programs varies from veteran to veteran

  • The program of education must be a program offered at the UW and approved for VA benefits.

    • All UW degree programs

    • Certificate Programs

    • CE Programs

    • Distance Learning

Course approvals
Course approvals varies from veteran to veteran

Course approval
Course Approval varies from veteran to veteran

  • Needed Quarterly

  • Affirms to the VA that the classes they are taking fulfill graduation requirements toward their intended degree.

  • The course approval stickers need to be affixed to the schedule to be valid. Note any courses that aren’t applicable.

  • Time- Sensitive - cannot certify enrollment and tuition and fees until signed and returned to the veterans center

Credit evaluations
Credit Evaluations varies from veteran to veteran

  • Affirms to the VA what a student’s major is and how many credits are needed to earn their degree.

  • Required at the time a student declares a major, or at the time a student changes the major.

Additional forms
Additional Forms varies from veteran to veteran

  • “Extension of Date of Graduation” form– If a student exceeds the usual number of credits required for a program, e.g. 180 credits, this form asserts to the VA that they really do need the extra credits to graduate.

  • Double major paperwork – the VA generally will pay for extra credits required for a major/minor, or second major, but it needs to be documented in their VA file. This paperwork shows how many credits are needed beyond the number of credits for the first degree.

Additional forms1
Additional Forms varies from veteran to veteran

  • Non-matriculated form – if a student is not yet matriculated, they need to have this form signed to affirm that they need to take certain courses as prerequisites, or at least that the course are applicable toward their intended degree. It’s good for two quarters.

  • Parent School Letter – If the student wants to take classes at another school for a quarter, or take classes concurrently at another school, they need this signed. It tells the VA that the classes at the other school will still apply toward their intended degree at the UW.

  • Course Repeat form– The VA won’t pay for classes retaken just to improve your grade. But if you need to have a minimum GPA in your core study area, minimum GPA for those classes, etc., students need this form signed to assert that.

The future of the veterans center
The Future of the Veterans Center varies from veteran to veteran

  • Ultimate Goal:

    • Create a comprehensive facility that will provide all key services to our returning veterans in one place where they can come for assistance with the transition to college through enhanced counseling services.

The future of the veterans center1
The future of the Veterans Center varies from veteran to veteran

  • The enhanced Veterans Center will:

    • Expand the services that deal with financial issues for veterans

    • Add inclusive counseling dealing with admissions, career services, academic advising, mental health issues, focused veteran disability services, and integration into the UW community.

    • Focus on the wellness, mental health, and academic success of the student veteran from a holistic perspective.

The future of the veteran center
The future of the Veteran Center varies from veteran to veteran

  • Provide consultation and educational programming for faculty and staff with information on the needs of student veterans.

  • The concept requires employees who will staff the center, as well as a number of counseling specialists who will hold office hours in the center and bring their special expertise to their home department.

  • The future of the veterans center2
    The future of the Veterans Center varies from veteran to veteran

    • Include a student mentor component that employs current student veterans as mentors to newly admitted student veterans.

    • With upgraded space, will provide a place for student veterans to gather, socialize, and support each other.

    2011 12 priorities
    2011-12 Priorities varies from veteran to veteran

    • Peer to Peer Mentoring

    • Identify Space for “community building”

    • Improve Communication

    • Partner with other units to provide workshops/seminars specific to veterans

      • Counseling Center (Winter and Spring 2012)

      • The Career Center (Winter and Spring 2012)

    HUMV varies from veteran to veteran

    • The official mission of the Husky United Military Veterans organization at the UW shall be to foster unity, pride and community within its members and surrounding community through educational, cultural, and social advancement.

      [email protected]

    One more population of students to consider
    One more population of students to consider… varies from veteran to veteran

    • Spouses and dependents of Military personnel

      • Spouses and children of active duty and currently deployed personnel may be faced with many of the issues common to veterans while pursuing higher education

    • Transfer of Eligibility for VA educational benefits (chapter 33)

      • brings dependents to campus that have grown up in a military family and exposed to many of the issues mentioned

    Collaboration flexibility
    Collaboration & Flexibility varies from veteran to veteran

    • Not about a process that serves all

    • Not just a transactional approach to supporting student veterans; it is about building relationships with student veterans

    • Flexibility w/ process and policies... tuition late fees, registration holds, housing payments, etc.

    • Advancement, marketing, SFS, housing, registration, admissions, career services, advising, counseling center, health & wellness

    • This is about Serving Student Veterans Together.

    Next steps
    Next Steps varies from veteran to veteran

    • Go back to your unit and think about ways to better support the needs of our student veterans.

      • Is there someone in your unit that is a veteran? And, willing to be a point of contact for students?

    • Build relationships with student veterans

      • Listen, be helpful, friendly, and promote their academic success.

    Honoring those who served
    Honoring those who served varies from veteran to veteran

    Campus Memorials

    The veterans center tim wold cindy metzger tina tanaka luke brist

    The Veterans Center varies from veteran to veteranTim WoldCindy MetzgerTina TanakaLuke Brist

    520 Schmitz Hall

    206 543 6122

    [email protected]