Veterans

August 31, 2013

VA announces big expansion of ‘VetSuccess on Campus’

As a new school year begins, a Department of Veterans Affairs official announced Aug. 29 that VA will nearly triple the number of colleges and universities it partners with to offer on-campus vocational and rehabilitative VA counseling through its “VetSuccess on Campus” program.

Curt Coy, VA’s deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity, told reporters during a conference call that the program, which began in 2009, will expand from its existing 32 campuses to 94. Its primary goal is to provide on-campus counseling and referral services to student veterans as they transition to civilian life, Coy said.

“We put an experienced vocational rehabilitation counselor, full-time, on a college campus to help not just wounded warriors or disabled veterans, bur for all veterans on the campus,” he explained.

Coy said the department looks for schools with veteran and beneficiary enrollment of at least 800 to 1,200 and strives to partner bigger colleges or universities with “feeder schools” such as community colleges, so they can share counseling resources. Officials also seek to ensure the campus is close to a VA regional center or medical facility.

Those regional VA facilities are where on-campus counselors come from, Coy noted, because the department assigns its most experienced people for on-campus work and then backfills their previous positions.

“The school has to ask or volunteer to host a … counselor,” he said. “They provide office space, access to their computers and a telephone.” The VA pays the counselor’s salary, he added.

Some 90 percent of a counselor’s workload may involve answering questions about educational benefits, Coy said, but he noted the program, which offers students veterans the chance for face-to-face conversation with a VA expert, can help to smooth life for former service members in other ways as well.

Every veteran is different in some small way, he said, but VA counselors “can, in many cases, break through any concerns or questions they may have, and help them connect with their benefits.”

He offered as example a student veteran using the Post-9/11 GI Bill who has not yet begun receiving a housing allowance or other benefits.

“[The counselor] can intercede directly on behalf of that veteran, and it works out very, very well,” Coy said. He added that the chance to consult an experienced VA vocational and rehabilitation counselor also offers student veterans a chance to learn about overall benefits they may be entitled to.

“The most important thing is to provide those student veterans with the tools they need to be successful in their academic environment … [and] meaningful employment as they move on,” Coy said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

Veterans remember Gulf War 25 years later

Courtesy photograph Command Sgt. Maj. Robert G. Nichols, now retired, deployed to the Middle East with 1st Brigade in 1990. Nichols played a major role in the largest air assault in history that secured Forward Operating Base C...
 
 

Soldier missing from Vietnam War accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Aug. 21 that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be buried with full military honors. Army Maj. Dale W. Richardson of Mount Sterling, Ill., will be buried Aug. 29, in Mountain View, Ark. Richardson was assigned to 2nd...
 
 
cmsaf-funeral9

Ninth CMSAF laid to rest

Air Force photograph by SrA. Preston Webb Members of the Old Guard escort the ninth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James C. Binnicker to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Aug. 14, 2015. Binnicker passed away March 2...
 

 

VA announces new rules regarding service animals in VA facilities

Aug. 17, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist individuals entering VA facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing facility...
 
 

World War II airman’s remains identified

The remains of a serviceman, missing since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors, said the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in a DOD news release issued Aug. 6. U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stephen V. Biezis of Chicago, will be buried Aug....
 
 

Remains of Pearl Harbor victims raised for identification

The military July 27 exhumed more caskets containing the unidentified remains of USS Oklahoma crew members killed in the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency disinterred five coffins from four grave sites at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, where they have rested for decades. The work is...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>