Belmont University’s Veteran Success Team recently hosted two Veteran Empowerment Training sessions for faculty and staff across campus. Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides additional opportunities for veterans to earn a college degree, campuses across the country have seen a dramatic influx of veterans seeking educational opportunities. Belmont’s student population has been no different.
Because the process of transitioning from military to civilian life can pose challengers for all service members, veterans and their families, the University’s Veteran Success Team, part of Interdisciplinary Studies and Global Education, continues to provide support to this campus group. As Belmont’s veteran population has grown to more than 155 undergraduate and graduate student veterans, the Team understands the importance of ensuring faculty and staff are fully equipped to serve student veterans.
This week’s training sessions provided information on how to welcome student veterans to campus, build trust, ease the transition and properly advise/mentor students. They were led by Tennessee Department of Veteran Services Veteran Education Coordinator for Middle Tennessee Chris Fears. He feels strongly about the importance of equipping faculty and staff to empower student veterans and said, “It’s a great time to be a student, and it’s a great time to be a veteran. Neither of those are more true than right here in Tennessee. Military veterans are proven to be the best students in our classrooms with a few strategic pieces of transitional support. Supporting veterans in higher education is the best thing we can do to set them up for success in the next chapter of their lives.”
Robbie Tyrney, president of Belmont’s Student Veterans of America chapter known as Bruin Vets, supports faculty and staff training and other programming provided by the Team. “Our Veteran Success Team continues to go above and beyond to ensure our veterans have the resources and support they need while pursuing academic success at Belmont University,” Tyrney said. “By hosting the Veteran Empowerment Training, our Veteran Success Team shows their commitment to excellence in supporting Belmont’s growing veteran population. The Bruin Vets would like to thank our Veteran Success Team for their continued support and Chris Fears for providing this valuable training opportunity.”
The Veteran Success Team works to ensure student veterans are welcomed and equipped for success at Belmont. They provide help with academic resources, transitioning to campus life and career readiness. Their efforts were recently recognized, as Belmont was ranked No. 3 in the South for Best Colleges for Veterans on U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 edition of America’s Best Colleges.