Secretary of Veteran Affairs hosts student roundtable April 8

Eric K. Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs, will meet with student veterans at Rhode Island College on Thursday, April 8, at 2:30 pm in Student Union conference room 307. He will discuss the impact of the Post-9/11 GI Bill on student veterans, and to hear how the student veterans are faring in the academic arena following military service.

About 240 RIC student veterans are taking advantage of the educational benefit afforded by the bill that became available last fall.

Media are invited to speak with Secretary Shinseki at 4 p.m. following the student veterans’ roundtable. Student veterans and college representatives will also be available to media.

RIC was named a Military Friendly School for 2010 by G.I. Jobs magazine, and deemed one of the schools in the nation to embrace America’s veterans as students.

Last November, RIC opened a Veterans Resource Center to serve as a clearinghouse of information for all student veterans and their families. The Center adds to the resources available to student veterans in the RIC Student Veterans organization.

The Center provides accurate and complete information about degree requirements, and refers students to the appropriate resources to make them personally and academically successful. RIC has 90 academic programs approved for veterans, and employs a VA (Veterans Administration) certifying official who verifies enrollment for initial and continuing veterans educational benefits.

The college also has a VA Work Group that meets during the academic year to identify ways to keep RIC a veteran-friendly place. Several departments across campus participate in the discussion of veterans' issues, requirements and policies so the college is better prepared to assist veterans, according to Monica Darcy, coordinator of veterans programs at RIC.

“When I was a college student, I co-chaired the campus Red Cross and volunteered in a VA Hospital, so I know first-hand that returning veterans bring unique skills and knowledge as well as sometimes unique needs to a college campus," said RIC President Nancy Carriuolo. "Here at RIC, we welcome them to our diverse campus community.”