For Immediate Release::
JCSU establishes chapter of a national organization for student veterans
JCSU named a ‘Military-Friendly Institution of Higher Learning’
Veterans face unique educational challenges, from a missing sense of camaraderie to difficulties balancing family life and coursework. Coupled with the emotional toll of combat, a college degree can be an elusive goal for men and women returning to civilian life. At Johnson C. Smith University, military students and their family members now have a dedicated space to help navigate their educational goals: the veterans’ support hub.
Housed in the university’s adult student program, Metropolitan College, the hub welcomes all enrolled veterans, from traditional students to adult and online learners. Cheryl Curtis, director of Educational Enhancement Services for Metropolitan College, is spearheading the program.
“As the spouse of a veteran, I understand the difficulties that families face when trying to transition from military life to a civilian life while, at the same time, trying to accomplish educational goals,” said Curtis. “I’m excited to be leading this effort and to be a support to those who answered the call to serve.”
In addition to offering administrative support such as applying for grants and scholarships and offering health and counseling referrals, the center will be the epicenter of the campus’ recently established chapter of the Student Veterans of America Association. The national organization provides military veterans with the resources, support and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education.
“Sometimes a person needs to talk to other veterans about situations only another veteran would understand,” said Michael Coleman, a retired paratrooper who saw combat during three tours of Iraq. “The SVAA helps us register for classes, form study groups and keep each other encouraged.” Coleman, 49, is a sophomore and part of the leadership in the newly established SVAA chapter. “As leaders, you don’t have to have all the answers. You just have to know where to find them,” he said.
In an added recognition of JCSU’s efforts to provide wrap-around services for enrolled veterans, Victory Media recently named JCSU among one of the nation’s military-friendly institutions of higher education. The publication highlighted more than 1,400 schools and 220 employers exhibiting best practices in support of military students and employees.
“As Charlotte’s premier new urban university, it is an honor to receive this designation, yet more importantly, it’s our responsibility to provide services for the men, women and their families that protect our freedom day in and day out,” said Laura McLean, dean of Metropolitan College.
For more information on JCSU’s support services for military men, women and their families, contact Cheryl Curtis at 704-378-3581.