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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Phase I will connect student veterans with job or internship opportunities through
local, regional, and national companies interested in hiring USF student veterans.
The OVS will coordinate and host information sessions, bringing organization representatives
to campus to meet with student veterans, share employment opportunities, review resumes,
and potentially interview candidates. Current participants include Chase Bank, SunTrust, USAA, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, and PricewaterhouseCoopers; we
seek to increase this pool. The OVS will expand Phase I by hosting veteran-only internship/job
fairs for local organizations, such as the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, increasing
employment opportunities for student veterans.
- Phase II, a newly-launched component, will present a series of customized workshops on such topics as resume writing; interviewing techniques; translating military experience into civilian language; professional dress and speech; and networking. USF will actively engage community leaders with expertise in these topics to facilitate these workshops.
- Phase I will connect student veterans with job or internship opportunities through local, regional, and national companies interested in hiring USF student veterans. The OVS will coordinate and host information sessions, bringing organization representatives to campus to meet with student veterans, share employment opportunities, review resumes, and potentially interview candidates. Current participants include Chase Bank, SunTrust, USAA, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, and PricewaterhouseCoopers; we seek to increase this pool. The OVS will expand Phase I by hosting veteran-only internship/job fairs for local organizations, such as the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, increasing employment opportunities for student veterans.
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 email@example.com.