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November 12, 2012

New program focusing on success of veterans, transfer and commuter students

The Student Success at Purdue department has created a new program to assist veterans, transfer students and commuter students in achieving academic success.

The new Military Veteran and Nontraditional Student Programs will be led by its newly appointed coordinator, Jamie Richards. He is a Purdue graduate and a veteran.

"Currently, there are approximately 450 veterans, 6,000 transfer students and numerous commuter students who have no one to assist their transition to campus," Richards says. "Although there are support services available for these populations, there was a need to provide structure and coordination of these services. Now, our program will serve as a champion for these students' success."

In addition to coordinating and streamlining services, the program will assess student needs and benchmark similar successful programs to determine additional opportunities for programming and student engagement. Richards will lead efforts to troubleshoot and assist with barriers faced by students in the military, veterans and nontraditional students as well as raise awareness regarding the needs of these populations.

Richards also will act as one of the advisors to the Purdue Student Veterans Organization and will work with the Student Veterans Advisory Team, which consists of senior faculty and staff and a student veteran representative.

"One of the best ways for me to learn in this role is to listen to students, faculty and staff," Richards says. "I encourage anyone who would like to discuss opportunities, ideas or partnerships with Military Veteran and Nontraditional Student Programs to contact me."

Before coming to Purdue, Richards served as the veterans affairs coordinator and school certifying official at Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette. Richards, who has more than 18 years of military experience, currently serves in the United States Navy Reserves.

Richards can be contacted at by calling 49-45708, emailing richa186@purdue.edu, or visiting the program office in Engineering Administration Building, Room 219.