Vol State Supports Veterans Who Want to Attend College

Submitted on January 08, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Military educational benefits can help veterans transform their lives with a college degree. Accessing those benefits can be a confusing process. Volunteer State Community College is working to support student veterans and make that process easier with an expanded Office of Veterans Affairs. Recently, the college was awarded the title of "Military Friendly School" by Victory Media. The school has also received word that Learning Support classes will now be eligible for military benefits.

"The Veterans Administration (VA) is going to pay for these skill development classes, and that's important for students as they start college," said Ken Hanson, the Veterans Affairs Coordinator at Vol State. The Learning Support classes join the hundreds of other Vol State courses already supported by military benefits. The type of classes students can take and how they register are an important part of taking advantage of those benefits. Hanson assists student veterans with their college career from start to finish. He knows from experience how complex veteran benefits can be. Hanson served in the Air Force for 22 years before retiring as a Major. He graduated from both Southern Illinois University and Webster University, utilizing his military benefits.

"We want to give veterans the opportunity to transition from a military career to a civilian career," Hanson said. "A lot of veterans come out of the military without the skills they need for a job. We can help them start an educational process that will benefit them for their entire lives."

Vol State student veterans can share experiences and network with other veterans through the Vol State Student Veterans of America. The group organizes campus events throughout the year.

The college joins the 2013 Military Friendly Schools list after being evaluated for student veteran support and quality educational programs, among other criteria. The list can be found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com. The website also provides research tools for veterans considering college.

"We know there are a lot more veterans out there that have VA educational benefits coming to them," said Hanson. "We're here to help them get started."

Veterans considering Vol State should visit the college Veterans Affairs web page at www.volstate.edu/Veterans or email Ken Hanson at veterans.affairs@volstate.edu.

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Pictured: Vol State has an active chapter of the Student Veterans of America (SVA). Left to right: Colby Shelton, student veteran; Brad Champlin student veteran, Ken Hanson, Vol State Veterans Affairs Coordinator, Bill Maki, SVA President.

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