Community

Overview

Our country's veterans are an amazing group of dedicated, disciplined, and talented individuals, and the student veterans at USF are no exception!  They have selflessly served our country and now have returned to school to further their education to continue their service to society.

Ranked as the #4 most veteran friendly university in the country, USF proudly serves this special student population with programs and services designed to help ensure their academic and career success.  We've made great progress but know that we can do so much more with the help of business and community partners. 

So how can you help?

There are many ways you can contribute to the success of our student veterans. Please consider supporting our veterans with our time, talent or treasure!

We have three new initiatives that have the potential to open doors of opportunity and change the lives or our student veterans. To make these initiatives successful, we will need to support of our entire community. Again, we need your time, talent or treasure!

  1. Mentorship Program: Vincent Tinto's research on student attrition (1993) suggests that socially- and academically-integrated students are more likely to remain at an institution. Volunteer mentors engage our student veterans both academically and professionally, easing their transitions into the workplace or to the next phase of their education. Students are linked with professionals working in their careers of choice, or with graduate students in their prospective disciplines. This augments knowledge and skills, provides a deeper understanding of career options, and builds relationships that foster opportunities for employment upon graduation. It also aids in re-acclimation to civilian life. In partnership with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee and the larger community, USF seeks to dramatically increase its number of business and community leaders serving as mentors. To ensure appropriate protégé-mentor pairings, we particularly seek to engage mentors in low-density careers such as aerospace engineering, architecture, and sports management. We similarly will increase the number of students participating in the program. Marketing and recruitment resources will be key in this expansion. A database will track veteran graduation and employment rates and will record all active and potential mentors. Students registered for the Veteran Success course are automatically enrolled in this program.

  2. Academic Enhancement Program: An estimated 70 student veterans at USF are currently on academic probation and in jeopardy of dismissal; an additional 260 veterans have GPAs lower than 2.5 and are consequently at risk of probation. Many of these students struggle academically as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, or readjustment issues; some are disturbed by combat memories; others are not properly equipped to handle the rigors of university-level academics. This new program will target those student veterans either on probation or at risk, collaborating with each to identify obstacles to success in the classroom. OVS and the student will develop a comprehensive academic enhancement plan and identify resources to create a pathway to academic achievement. OVS will track the students' academic progress through graduation and provide additional support as needed. The ultimate goal is to increase graduation and retention rates of USF's student veteran population.

  3. Employment Readiness: While a college degree typically leads to employment opportunities, veterans are not prepared to compete with their civilian counterparts for that dream job. Veterans often lack skills such as resume writing and interviewing to be competitive in the job market. Many downplay the value of their military experience or can relate it using only military lingo. This two-phase program will strategically position veterans to bridge the gap between college and the workforce.

Of course, we also value philanthropic gifts to support our various programs and events.  

Learn more about how to provide funding to help us better support our veterans on campus.

To discuss any or all of these opportunities, feel free to contact Larry Braue, director of the Office of Veterans Services, at lbraue@usf.edu.