Serving those who have served our country

By Anne Blackhurst , President

Minnesota State University Moorhead has long been recognized as a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon institution—a distinction earned by campuses that not only are military friendly but also demonstrate a commitment to connecting service members and their families with support, resources, training, and services. A recently awarded Federal grant will allow MSUM to take its commitment to the next level.

The three-year grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, allocates $453,425 to develop a new Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success on the MSUM campus. The Center will provide dedicated programs and support to those who have served our country with the goal of improving student success and, ultimately, improving our veteran students’ transition into rewarding careers. An important component of the Center is the establishment of a veteran student support team, including staff from admissions, registration, financial aid, veterans’ benefits, academic and career advising, counseling, and accessibility services.

The grant will improve MSUM’s ability to orient veteran students to campus, grow partnerships with veteran-serving agencies, maximize credits earned for veteran students’ prior experience, engage veteran students in campus life, and keep veteran students on track for their career and educational goals. Two new, grant-funded positions will coordinate these services and develop new ways to meet the unique needs of veterans transitioning into college and careers.  

Initiatives designed to reach these goals include expanding career development activities for veterans, creating a centralized hub for connecting veteran students with employment opportunities, providing support and resources related to PTSD, creating a peer mentoring program, and ensuring that veteran students can transfer credits seamlessly to other colleges and universities.

An important component of the grant is the development of a plan for sustaining the Center and its services once Federal funding ends in 2025.

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