2019-20 Annual Report

Mission Statement

Purdue’s Veterans Success Center provides programming and services for Purdue University students who are veterans, currently serving members of the military, or benefit using family members—known collectively as VMF.

Vision Statement

Improve access, retention, and graduation rates as well as employment opportunities for VMF students. Increase Purdue’s national recognition as a leader for supporting VMF students.

Operational and Program Elements

The Veterans Success Center provides four broad levels of VMF support:

  • Benefits and Advocacy: Certify and maintain compliance for the GI Bill; support access to Federal Tuition Assistance and specific State Funded Benefits; and facilitate the process for residency, the military absence policy and military withdrawal. Directly advocate for students and improve campus VMF awareness. Maintain a space for students and staff.
  • Veteran to Veteran Peer Program (V2V): An orientation and peer program to support the first year for Veteran and Military (VM) students.
  • The Purdue Student Veterans Organization (PSVO): An active student organization created in 2005 open to the entire VMF population. Advocates for campus change, community service, and shared camaraderie. The Director and Assistant Director serve as Advisors for the SVO.
  • Education to Occupation (E2O): Supporting the VM student’s transition from higher education to career by creating transition awareness, strengthening self-advocacy, and facilitating connections with employers.

Operational and Programmatic Outomces

Benefits and Advocacy

  • Physical Space: Assistant Director and Director moved offices into PMU 280 and will wait until after the pandemic before moving forward with remodeling options.
  • Staffing: We experienced our first staffing turnover since 2013 as one of our SCOs earned her BA and took a position elsewhere on campus. We hired Dawn Amato as a new SCO to replace her. We also hired Wendy Mouser as a new SCO to respond to the growth of Purdue Online.
  • Development Funds: We were able to raise $1,635 from Purdue Day of Giving as well as another $12,325 over the course of the year. Due to Purdue Research Foundation switching data systems, the numbers may not be 100% accurate. These will be updated next year and an additional section will be available to track funds raised for the Purdue Student Veterans Organization.

Veteran to Veteran Peer Program (V2V): Due to COVID-19, we adjusted our fall orientation for incoming students. We did not have student leaders available to facilitate communication and outreach. We collaborated with Span Plan and had approximately eight students participate with their programming. We also hosted two virtual orientations with five students participating.

Purdue Student Veterans Organization (PSVO): The PSVO continues to be the primary source for camaraderie and military-connected student involvement. PSVO was in the process of elections and preparing for leadership turnover when the pandemic hit. Closing out the spring was difficult, but they did elect a new leadership team.

Education to Occupation (E2O): Fall programming included a networking reception, headshot photoshoot, and LinkedIn session.

Notable Changes From 2018-19 Academic Year

In March 2020, Purdue made the decision to shift all instruction and assessment to be online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This caused us to change our work in the following ways:

  • The Veterans Success Center closed the center and shifted staff to work at home.
  • Installed Jabber on computers, acquired USB headsets, and shifted the ability to answer office phones from home.
  • Big Ten Academic Alliance Peer Group started hosting regular phone calls to talk about our responses and provide each other peer support.
  • Caylen Redden, from the Purdue Testing Center, provided support to our office by answering our main phone line, fielding questions, and forwarding messages as needed. This gave us the time and space to train a new employee and certify benefits in a timelier manner.
  • Cancelled spring graduation and awards dinner.
  • Cancelled annual Memorial Day ceremony co-hosted with Purdue Student Union Board.
  • Cancelled Green Zone training and spring student panel.
  • Allowed by the State Approving Agency to submit our catalog to them via email; submitted in June.

 

Other notable changes:

  • Sarah Underwood, School Certifying Official, transitioned to a new role at Purdue in November of 2019.
  • Jamie Richards, Director, shifted to provide support as a School Certifying Official to keep up with GI Bill processing from November 2019 through end of the fiscal year.
  • Dawn Amato was hired at the new School Certifying Official in March 2020.
  • With the acquisition of PMU280, the VSC will soon include space for the Program Manager of the Purdue Military Research Institute (PMRI). PMRI students are active duty officers who are working toward a Purdue masters or PhD program. These students are historically involved with our office as leaders, use VSC services, or take part of our programming, and this will help provide closer coordination and support.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs switched to a new billing system for Chapter 31 VRE students called Tungsten. Purdue was incorrectly placed in the system by either the VA or Tungsten, and this created problems finding students and billing. The VSC coordinated with the Bursar’s Office, Purdue’s Parking Services and Follett’s West to resolve the issue.
  • In 2019-20 the Department of Veterans affairs implemented initial training for new and continuing SCOs along with required CE credits. The initial training was approximately 10 hours of work and then approximately 4 hours of CE or 4 training modules either in person or online each continuing year. All office staff completed their initial training and are now certified as SCOs.

Our Data

For all of our 2019-20 data, statistics, and graphs, please view or download our official Annual Report PDF.

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Veterans Success Center, PMU 284/286, 101 N. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7638, dogtags@purdue.edu

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