CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 3, 2014 – The Office of Military and Veterans Services at Southeast Missouri State University will host an Open House during Homecoming weekend on Oct. 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., to celebrate its new location in the University Center, Room 302.
“The goal of the Open House is to gain better visibility,” said Jeremy McBroom, director of the Office of Military and Veterans Services. “We want to showcase how we assist this very important population at Southeast.”
A key component of that assistance is a special tuition rate that Southeast offers for eligible, non-Missouri residents who are Service Members or veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. These individuals, including members of the National Guard or Reserves, their spouses and dependents, are charged an incidental fee rate equal to the in-state incidental fee rate. This special fee rate underscores Southeast’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military-affiliated students and assists in repaying them for service to our country. For more information on this rate, visit http://www.semo.edu/veterans/.
The Center offers a variety of other services as well.
For Jared Bush-Howe of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, a senior construction management major, the Office of Military and Veterans Services is a helpful place for veterans to transition from the military to a University setting.
“It has a positive influence on individual veterans,” said Bush-Howe, who served in the U.S. Army. “It means a lot to us to know that the University is backing us up during the transition process.”
Established in 2012, the Office of Military and Veterans Services recently relocated from Brandt Hall to the University Center. According to McBroom, the new space is just over 2,000 square feet and provides a safe, quality space for military and veteran students. The new space includes eight work stations, with computers for studying, an entertainment lounge, a concession area serving coffee and light snacks, office spaces for visiting professional counselors, and Veterans Affairs certification.
“The space is great because we can come in and do homework” at readily available computers, said Matt Golden of Burfordville, Missouri, a freshman criminal justice major who served in the U.S. Navy.
The new space not only provides military and veteran students with academic support but also with emotional support.
“It gives us an alternate place to go on campus where it’s a little bit easier to relate to other students going through the same thing,” said James Matuszewich of La Creek, Illinois, a sophomore mathematics major, who served in the U.S. Army.
“We are very excited,” said McBroom. “It’s amazing to see veterans open up and talk to one another. This space helps ease the transition to the University setting, by allowing them to interact, talk to one another and share experiences.”
Not only does Southeast’s Office of Military and Veterans Services assists military and veteran students, but they support and assist their dependents as well. Often times, spouses and dependents of military and Veterans are overlooked and lost in the shuffle of precedence. However, the Office of Military and Veterans Services takes great care to provide professional, dedicated assistance and support to both the Veteran and the dependent, so that no student is left behind. Whether a student is looking for information on getting started as a student at Southeast, getting information on financing his or her education, or getting assistance with determining the eligibility and processing of Veterans Affairs and other military education benefits and incentives, the Office of Military and Veterans Services strives to provide the best service possible. Additionally, the office helps align military-affiliated students with appropriate campus resources, such as the Academic Support Centers, Counseling Services, and Career Services. The office also refers veteran students to various veterans’ service organizations in the area and other external organizations that may be able to provide additional support, which may not be traditionally offered in a university setting.
The Office also conducts workshops to acclimate faculty to teaching students in their classes who are former members of the military.
“We cannot do enough for military veterans, their spouses and dependents,” McBroom says. “We are focused and driven to provide them with the best assistance and support possible.”
McBroom provides leadership in the development of recruitment and support programs for students who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as students who are currently serving in the military. He also is responsible for overseeing a University standing committee to coordinate services for this specific, student population, as well as their dependents and spouses.
The Office of Military and Veterans Services also researches and advocates for opportunities to implement veterans-friendly policies, procedures, processes, events and support services, as well as hosts events and workshops for Service Members, Veterans, and their dependents. In addition, the office assists in the research and development of grant applications and other external funding proposals related to veterans’ initiatives.
Office staff represents the University at off-campus recruiting events, focused on military personnel and veterans at locations such as Fort Leonard Wood, Scott Air Force Base and Fort Campbell.