An Introduction to Veteran & Military Student Programs
Here at CU Denver, we take pride in providing our military men and women with a quality education catered toward their distinct needs. Our mission is to create a positive transition and support programs for student service members, veterans, and their families in order to support their transition into academics, increase their graduation success rate, and assist them in achieving placement in their chosen career field following graduation.
“The Veteran & Military Student Services (VMSS) office is there to help veteran students transition from military to college, and succeed in whatever path that individual takes.” explained Junior Biology/Pre-med major, Kevin Bolser. “If a person is active in the office or associated programs it allows them to help other veterans succeed but it also gives them different experiences, friends, and perspectives that they otherwise may not have.”
CU Denver has appeared on the G.I. Jobs “Military Friendly Schools” List multiple times, ranking well because of its focus on employment support, transition and redeployment assistance, counseling referrals, and educational benefit certification. For example, Michael Chadwick is pursuing his second master’s degree at CU Denver and initially chose the school because of its culture and welcoming veteran environment.
The Principles of Excellence program is an agreement by the school to follow guidelines pertaining to student veteran issues in order to make things easier for veterans to navigate and complete their education. CU Denver also follows the eight keys to veterans’ success.
CU Denver’s Boots to Suits program ensures a smooth transition from military service to the classroom and then to the workforce. Chadwick explains that, “The program includes training, mentorship, and professional development [and] numerous networking opportunities as well.”
The PAVE program partners each incoming student with a veteran student who has already navigated the specific challenges of education after service. The program also offers tutoring, mental wellness resources, professional development workshops, and scholarships specifically for veteran students.
Adrian Toca, a junior studying Psychology, was one of the first mentors for the PAVE program and has significantly benefited from the services offered by the Office of Veteran Military Services. He said, “The office’s tutoring program has definitely helped a lot because it was an extra resource outside the CU Denver Learning Resource Center that was able to easily work around my hectic schedule.”
The university is also home to the CU Heroes Clinic, a dental clinic operated by the School of Dental Medicine, that serves honorably discharged veterans enrolled at CU Denver and select other Colorado schools. The clinic’s goal is to help bridge the gap for veterans who often do not have dental coverage when they leave military service by providing quality care at no cost.
Nationwide, veterans who have been discharged within the last 4 years are eligible for in state tuition at public schools across all 50 states. This means that veterans and their dependents no longer face residency requirements or higher non-resident tuition charges. There are exceptions, of course, but this is a significant benefit for a large portion of veterans.
Toca said, “I definitely would [recommend visiting the office] if they have time. There are many benefits to it.” Chadwick agrees, ” Having a successful transition from service to civilian cannot be done without resources. This office can directly connect you with a number of resources to help you along during your time of transition.”
Congratulations Class of 2014!
Last month we celebrated graduation for the class of 2014. What a celebration! College is not an easy journey, but it is very rewarding. A lot of our graduates were the first in their family, others were a second, third, or fourth generation college graduate. No matter your background or your roots, walking across the stage to receive your degree is a wonderful feeling.
The day was full of big smiles, hugs, and tears.
The feeling of pride among the graduates’ friends and family members was palpable, and we couldn’t help but get a little emotional.
We are so proud of our college graduates and for the current student who are working hard at achieving their goals. At CU Denver, our students are our number one priority, and at the end of the year we can’t help but feel like a part of the family.