Gaining admission to Michigan State University is a prestigious accomplishment. For different groups, an education can mean many different things. Veterans of the United States Armed Forces come to campus after facing a different world, having served our country and most have seen combat in war. A veteran's education is especially important to them after facing trials and tribulations more intense than most. At a time in which America faces two different wars, requiring thousands of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, these veterans come to campus looking to build on the leadership skills and discipline they learned in service.
The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities has spent the past semester working to ensure that MSU veterans have the appropriate services and the capabilities to complete their education. After the RCPD held a Welcome Orientation in October to bring together veterans from all over campus, a follow-up event was introduced. This event allowed veterans and members of the MSU faculty and staff to come together and understand the needs involved in the transition from military to student life. The Veterans Forum encompassed many issues and posed several questions to attendees.
Veterans were asked questions ranging from what the university staff and faculty should know about veterans and what resources they have utilized since their arrival on campus, to the barriers they have faced as an MSU student veteran.
The panel concluded, that as hypothesized, there are different experiences for each and every veteran - they don't all fit in one category and each have different needs. The veterans cited barriers in the ability to transfer credits from a previous education, as well as the difficulty for those who are still in the armed forces reserve that can be called up mid-semester.
MSU faculty and staff attendees gained insights into how to east the transition for MSU veterans. The forum ended with an appetizing meal of pizza and a chance for veterans to network with those who may be able to help them the most.