RIC becomes part of VetSuccess pilot program

Rhode Island College is among three four-year colleges and two community colleges recently added to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ VetSuccess on Campus pilot program.

The program provides counselors to assist students who have recently transitioned from active-duty military service to college life. It is designed to ensure that veterans’ health, educational and benefits needs are met during their time in school.

“I am thrilled to see the expansion of the VetSuccess program,” said Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden and adjunct English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, in a press release. “I know the transition from military to student life can be challenging and we owe it to those who have served our country to make their transitions as easy and successful as possible.”

In the pilot program already underway at the University of South Florida, Cleveland State University and San Diego State University, VA vocational rehabilitation counselors and outreach coordinators from VA’s Vet Centers are assigned to campuses to provide vocational testing, career and academic counseling, and readjustment counseling services to ensure Veterans receive the support and assistance needed to successfully pursue their educational and employment goals.

VA counselors work directly with school officials to establish effective communications channels with Veteran students and coordinate the delivery of VA benefits and services.

Peer-to-peer counseling and referral services are also available to help resolve any problems that could potentially interfere with a Veteran’s educational program, including referrals for more intensive health services through VA Medical Centers, Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, or Vet Centers, as needed.

“We enthusiastically welcome the VetSuccess program to the RIC campus,” said Monica Darcy, RIC’s coordinator of veterans programs. “Veterans will benefit from this program with career and personal support that will improve their access to veterans’ benefits and increase their academic success. It is a well-deserved resource for what veterans have given in service of our country.”

Edward Angell, president of the RIC Student Veterans Organization, said that VetSuccess would be “great asset” to student veterans on campus. He noted that there has long been a need for a representative to help students with their paperwork.

Other colleges added to the pilot program were Community College of Rhode Island, Salt Lake City Community College, Arizona State University and Texas A&M University.

For more information on VetSuccess, go to www.vetsuccess.gov.