The university has recently established mentorship and orientation programs designed to help veterans adjust to college life and fully understand how Rutgers can help meet their needs.
A second initiative is the approval of a plan by the faculty and administration at Rutgers-Camden to seek membership in the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC). The SOC is a 1,700-member consortium of colleges and universities dedicated to helping military students and their families obtain college degrees by making it easier to transfer credits among member institutions. Students enrolled through the SOC could take courses at any Rutgers campus.
The third initiative is Rutgers’ decision to become a “Yellow Ribbon” institution. Under this program, out-of-state veterans who attend Rutgers will be eligible to receive federal financial assistance to cover a portion of out-of-state fees.
“As the State University of New Jersey, we want to make sure that we are ready to assist these men and women who so honorably served our nation,” said President Richard L. McCormick.
Last September, McCormick appointed a committee to explore how Rutgers might better serve the needs of veterans. “We took these initiatives to respond to the needs of our student veterans and to be better prepared to meet the needs of veterans who will take advantage of the educational benefits in the new GI Bill,” McCormick said. “We know that veterans are a student population with needs that differ from those of traditional college-age students. Many are balancing work and family commitments and are adjusting to the difference between military life and college life. With this in mind, the Committee on Veterans’ Services did its work with diligence and care, and we have begun to put their recommendations into effect.”
One of the most visible of the new programs at this point is the Volunteer Veteran-Mentoring Program sponsored by the University College Community (UCC). More than 150 faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Rutgers are undergoing training through the UCC to help support, advise and guide incoming veterans.
Among other recently announced veterans programs and services:
- Campus veterans’ service coordinators were appointed on all three campuses.
- Distance learning opportunities for veterans are expanding, enabling more military service personnel to earn academic credits toward a Rutgers University degree in locations and at times convenient to their work schedules.
- As part of a comprehensive communications plan, a new Web site is under development to help guide student veterans to the resources they need to make the most of their life at Rutgers. The site will incorporate campus specific as well as universitywide information. Also, a new listserv will make it easy for registered users to reach all veterans on various universitywide and campus lists.
- The university admissions office is developing a strategic recruitment plan that will seek to increase the number of veterans who choose to continue their education at Rutgers.
Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers offers more than 280 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degree programs. The university is home to 27 degree-granting schools and colleges, and more than 150 specialized centers and institutes. Rutgers is also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a highly selective organization comprising the 62 leading research universities in North America.
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Media Contact: E.J. Miranda
732-932-7084, Ext. 613