November 28, 2012
The move into college life is one of the most complicated and difficult transitions for many people.
Now imagine that transition not from high school — the path most incoming students take — but rather from a combat tour in Afghanistan.
As Ohio State’s student-veteran enrollment has increased more than four-fold over the last four years, the university has made a concerted effort to ease that transition.
The latest — but not the last — step in that effort came Oct. 25 with the official opening of the Office of Military and Veterans Services in the Student Academic Services Building.
“It’s personally very emotional for me because I know what these veterans are facing coming in here,” said Michael Carrell, assistant provost and director of the new office.
The office will be the single point of contact for all military and veterans services and concerns. It will manage the VA certification and registration for all veterans education benefits to which student-veterans and their dependants are entitled; it will coordinate all VA benefit and payment activities with the Student Services Center; it will assist students with accessing essential university services such as Academic Exploration and Counseling, Student Advocacy, Counseling and Consultation and Disability Services; and it will connect students with state and federal agencies that support veterans.
“We’re trying to make this office a home for student-veterans and not just a place for them to come in and drop off their paperwork,” Carrell said. “It’s about serving them in whatever they need and trying to make sure they feel welcome.”
Phil McGonagill, a major in the National Guard, attended the opening of the office in support of the many soldiers who move from the guard to college life. He said the office would make a huge difference in the life of those students.
“I was in the National Guard at the same time I was a college student, and coming in trying to speak bursar and university administration language and translate what available VA benefits I had available to me at the time was just almost a dead end,” he said. “To have an entire staff of people available in this office to work through all the red tape will make it so much easier for students to focus on what’s important.”
Posted by Alyssa Skinner, Office of Alumni Affairs
Originally published at http://oncampus.osu.edu/2012/10/student-veterans-get-help-navigating-osu-waters/