Don & Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center at Texas A&M
Application to Vocation Support Model
With the increase of Post 9/11 student veteran enrollment, most college campuses across the country have created or increased support for these unique non-traditional students. While several support models have emerged, few campuses have adopted a specific model to guide or enhance their efforts.
Without a comprehensive model, especially in a resource-constrained environment, these new veteran support capabilities often provide limited or inefficient support. Many fall into a “Typical Veteran Support Model” regardless of their structure or organization in the campus hierarchy.
Student veteran support on these campuses typically begins at orientation (or as classes begin) and graduation is the goal. Their programs are often “reactive.” To their credit, many veteran offices have amazing capabilities to react and solve significant student issues after they reach a critical stop or drop out point. Additionally, much of the programming is “deficit-based” as they focus on overcoming the stereotypical student veteran challenges.
At Texas A&M, we developed and use an expanded “Application to Vocation” Support Model. This model aligns resources to create a proactive support synergy that enhances student veteran success ‘to and through’ their campus experience. It relies on the following:
- Early Dedicated Support – At TAMU, we use our unique Military Admissions capability to align student strengths and goals as early as possible (often before applying).
- Intentional and Continuous Engagement – By leveraging the relationship previously established during the admissions process, student veterans are engaged at orientation and throughout their time on campus using numerous programs and partnerships.
- Vocation Support – Graduation is a goal, however, the ultimate goal is to achieve a positive post-graduation outcome. A robust career readiness program is introduced prior to their first classroom experience.
- Support Pillars - Throughout the application to vocation student veteran lifecycle, our VRSC programs focus on four areas of student veteran “fitness:” Academic; Financial, Well-Being and Career. Our most successful programs simultaneously enhance student veteran success in more than one pillar.
- Proactive Bias – Our model requires VRSC programs to contain a proactive component that helps student veterans identify and solve minor issues before they become a threat to academic retention or post-graduation goals.
- Strengths Based – We focus on helping student veterans identify and apply their strengths in the classroom, on campus and in the community to create resiliency and self-sufficiency in their new (non-military) environment.
- Inclusive - We lead with our core values to honor, respect and enable the unique backgrounds, experiences and diversity of our student veterans to maximize success.
- Evidence Based – Continuous assessment is incorporated into every program to increase efficiency and improvement.
Our Application to Vocation Support Model continues to guide our efforts to transform Texas A&M University into the destination of choice for student veteran success and ensure that we...
Serve Well Those Who Have Served!