2021-22 Annual Report

Mission Statement

Purdue’s Veterans Success Center (VSC) will provide holistic 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

The VSC aspires to improve access, retention, and graduation rates to our VMF students as well as increase confidence in the career search process and provide opportunities to connect with potential employers. The VSC aspires to increase Purdue’s national recognition as a leader for supporting VMF students.

Program Elements

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

  • Benefits and Advocacy: Certify and maintain compliance for the GI Bill and catalog approvals; support access to Federal Tuition Assistance and specific State Funded Benefits; and facilitate the process for the military absence policy and military withdrawal. Assist in the process of Residency establishment. Directly advocate for students and improve campus VMF awareness through Green Zone workshops and student panels.
  • Student Orientation and Onboarding: An orientation and peer program to support the first year for VMF incoming students.
  • The Purdue Student Veterans Organization (PSVO): An active student organization created in 2005 and 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 PSVO.
  • 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.
  • Veterans Success Center Space: Maintain the VSC physical space that houses staff, federal work-study students, the PSVO, and space for VMF students.

Program Outcomes

  • Benefits and Advocacy:
    • Verify Purdue has VA approved programs that GI Bill users can pursue by completing up-to-date yearly catalog submissions.
    • Advise students about options by explaining their service-connected benefit(s) and the complexities of each benefit.
    • Maintain training for Federal Tuition Assistance and access to individual branch portals.
    • Staff will maintain benefits proficiency by attending continuing education and conferences.
    • Increase campus awareness of unique attributes of VMF students by hosting Green Zone workshops, which are available to all Purdue Faculty and Staff.
  • Student Leaders:
    • Provided the opportunity to attend the Student Veterans of American Leadership Institute and the National Student Veterans of America Conference.
    • Provided several opportunities throughout the year for professional growth.
  • Military-Connected Students:
    • Provided the opportunity to understand their benefit and the maintenance to the benefit.
    • Benefits processed in a timely manner, within 30 days of registration and enrollment changes. 2
    • GI Bill audits conducted frequently to ensure enrollment and financial changes are reported as well as to correct any errors.
    • Provided opportunities of camaraderie within the office.
    • Provided need-specific items, such as cac-card accessible computer and cac-card reader.

Assessment Plan

  • Pre- and post-survey for Green Zone participants.
  • Post survey for E2O events.
  • Continue to monitor census data for changes in demographics or characteristics. • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compliance surveys. • Aspirational Assessment Data o The racial and ethnic percentages of those who serve in the military are more closely aligned with the U.S. population1 , but the veteran students at Purdue more closely match Purdue’s less diverse demographics. We would like to explore why if the cohort to pull from is more diverse that Purdue is not attracting a more diverse veteran population. o Why are the retention and graduation rates for veteran and military students lower than the Purdue population as a whole?

Notbale Changes from 2020-21 Academic Year

Staffing & Space

  • Third School Certifying Official role filled by Kimberly Heslin.
  • Received approval and funding from the Provost’s Office for a fourth School Certifying Official due to increased compliance and complexities of the GI Bill and other benefits such as tuition assistance. This role was filled by Courtenay Murakowski.
  • Assistant Director Morgan Torres was promoted to director after Jamie Richards left for another role on campus; the Assistant Director role was filled by Bryan Arbic.
  • Each staff member rotating remote work from home one day a week.
  • Providing Purdue Military Research Institute space within our Center to place their office.
  • Received $180,000 commitment from the provost office for renovation to PMU280. Below is the architectural rendering of the space:
  • We created new Banner cohorts so we could more quickly monitor our students in COGNOS. The cohorts can be found in Banner in the SGASADD screen. The following are the new cohorts:
    • All Veteran Students
    • All Military Students
    • All Family Using Military Benefits.
  • Created a Green Zone online training by working with Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) and other agencies on campus. Attempted to run the online Green Zone training but experienced a few technical difficulties. Will revise approach by learning more about software used to support the training.
  • Development Funds: We were able to raise $1,965.00 from Purdue Day of Giving as well as another $10,155 over the course of the year.
  • Over the past year, we worked with Purdue for Life and a donor who made a $25,000 revocable deferred pledge to pay over a five-year period. The purpose for the donation will be to support women veterans.
  • We worked with Purdue for Life and a donor to fund a $3,000 emergency fund for children of disabled veterans. The difficulty is determining who these students are and making the funds available via student universe scholarship database.

Student Orientation / Onboarding: We hosted an orientation for the purpose of students having the opportunity to learn about their service-connected benefit. While there, we also discussed a variety of campus resources available to them.

Purdue Student Veterans Organization (PSVO): The PSVO continues to be the primary source for camaraderie and military-connected student involvement. The new leadership team is running well, but student involvement is starting with low turnouts.

Education to Occupation (E2O): We were still under Covid-19 precautions and were unable to host a militaryconnected career fair.

Benefits & Legislation

  • Isakson and Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 passed with the following sections that directly affect our campus:
    • Section 1005 Requirements for in-state tuition—removed the “within three years of discharge” requirement for in-state residency for tuition purposes. We worked with the Residency Office to make this part of their decision process.
    • Section 1018 Requirements for educational institutions participating in the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Codified to law a list of requirements we were required to comply with by Aug. 1, 2020. Our campus and all Polytechnic Statewide Locations submitted a waiver for more time to ensure we are within compliance. We are currently working to ensure we are within compliance.
    • Section 1019 Overpayments to eligible person or Veterans. In certain circumstances, enrollment changes would cause the student to incur a debt with the VA, this debt is now transferred to the educational institution for collection. This can potentially hurt our students. In the past, if they owed the VA a debt then they could still enroll with the educational institution and have the debt paid by future benefits. Now the student will potentially owe the school and will not be able to register for courses.
  • Received approval for “centralized certification for all Purdue Polytechnic Statewide Locations. This required working with Purdue Polytechnic, the VA, and the State Approving Agency (SAA) to receive approval for two primary reasons; 1) each location certified so few students that it was difficult to maintain expertise in the process and 2) the increased complexity of benefits was straining their ability to provide strong compliance. Purdue Polytechnic agreed to fund a .5 FTE clerical level support to our office to maintain this responsibility. We will still work with their Site Administrative Assistants to provide training and knowledge of military connected students and educational benefits so they can still service their students. School Certifying Official, Wendy Mouser, is currently managing this portfolio. We now certify the following locations:
    • Purdue Main Campus 11906214
    • Polytechnic Statewide Anderson, VA Facility Code 11918714
    • Polytechnic Statewide Columbus, VA Facility Code 11918614
    • Polytechnic Statewide Indianapolis, VA Facility Code 11919314
    • Polytechnic Statewide Kokomo, VA Facility Code 11918914
    • Polytechnic Statewide Lafayette, VA Facility Code 11918814
    • Polytechnic Statewide New Albany, VA Facility Code 11919214
    • Polytechnic Statewide Richmond, VA Facility Code 11919014
    • Polytechnic Statewide South Bend, VA Facility Code 11919114
    • Polytechnic Statewide Vincennes, VA Facility Code 11919414
  • The Purdue catalog submitted to the SAA in 2021 has been approved.
  • To suppress educational institutions from setting up programs of study just to earn GI Bill benefits from students, the VA has a system to monitor the percentage of “supported” versus “non-supported” students. If the percentage of supported students was greater than 85% for any given concentration of study, then the program was closed to future GI Bill students until the percentage fell below 85%. These are called 85/15 reports. There was also a waiver in place that an institution could apply for if the overall percentage of supported students was less than 65% (called a 65/35 waiver) they were not required to submit 85/5 reports each semester. The VA created a “reset” and pulled all institutional waivers. They also changed their definition of “supported” student to not only include GI Bill recipients, but also any student that has not paid their tuition and fees in full by thirty days after the start of a semester— including those who set up payment plans. There is much debate as to whether the VA is going to 5 continue this interpretation of a “supported” student, but in the meantime, we are required to submit an 85/15 report at the end of the fall and spring semesters for each facility code we monitor.
  • In the spring of 2021, the Army tuition assistance program transitioned from GoArmyEd to ArmyIgnitEd. This transition was difficult for two reasons: 1) the Army cut off the old system without having the new system up and running. As of this report in Oct of 2021, the new system is still not running 100% and we are owed over $80,000 for the spring term alone 2) in the old system, most of the work was placed on the student and there were minor touch points by both Bursar (invoicing) and the VSC (grades). The new system transferred nearly all the work to the institution. We are now required to submit VERY prescribed reports for entire university catalog, student registrations, student billing, student grades, and student graduations. We are currently working with institutional report writers to help complete these reports.
  • Created the Veteran Landmark tour highlighting the military footprint and history on Purdue.

Our Data

For a full picture of our data from the 2021-22 academic year, please view or download our Full Annual Report by clicking the button below.

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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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