Veterans who wish to obtain further education have a bright opportunity at Newberry College.
The program has been amplified by Dr. Susan Epting, coordinator of student veteran affairs at the college, she helps out veterans with any questions and issues that arise throughout their educational career.
As Epting puts it, she compares what she does to a one-stop for all as she advocates for veterans in college.
Epting wants to make the veterans college experience one that is positive and one where they may achieve personal and career goals.
In addition to further exploring current veterans affairs at the college, she also sets clear and defined procedures, fund raises, help with the college navigation process and also provides encouragement to not only the veterans but the faculty and staff as well.
This is only a small list of what she does with veterans advocacy at the college.
Epting has plenty of experience as she has studied history as well as veteran’s readjustment issues.
When veterans do decide that they want to further their education, the first step they must take is to file for a certificate of eligibility from the Veterans Affairs office, according to Epting.
This certificate is like the official agreement between the school and government and the veteran must have it upon going back to school.
The following steps pertain to Newberry College.
After veterans receive the certificate, they take it to the registrar.
Then the enrollment process starts.
However, the time frame between submitting paperwork and receiving eligibility is longer and requires extra patience.
Epting says that while the veterans affairs department recommends four to six weeks for filing and enrolling, she actually recommends starting earlier than that.
For the fall semester, she recommends beginning the process around April or May and online is recommended over regular mail.
However, once the veteran is enrolled at Newberry College, any problems or issues go straight to Epting.
While the veteran student will have an adviser like normal, Epting does provide some extra support.
In the future, more support will be provided as she mentions a student veterans organization to begin in the new school year.
While the club will start this year it will still be unofficial until all the paperwork is completed so that it will become an official part of the national group, Student Veterans of America.
However, she notes that the group will be fully run by students as she is limited to what kind of help and support she can provide.
There are also more aspects to how the college helps out with student veterans.
For one, the college is a service member opportunity college. This means that the college deals with transfer credits for programs.
The college is also a Yellow Ribbon project participant which is an agreement between the U.S. Department of Defense and the college.
Newberry College does accept an unlimited number of students under the Yellow Ribbon project, says Epting.
Epting is also working on a study and lounge area for the student veterans since many of them tend to be commuter students. She wants to have a place on campus for them to go. Hopefully, this place will come about soon.
Essentially, Epting wants to cut down on the veterans running around from place to place and wants them to have one stop to shop.
While veterans do face issues and crises upon coming home, she hopes to help the veterans weave their way through the educational ecosystem in Newberry.
For more information regarding veterans and education, please visit www.gibill.va.gov or visit the college’s veterans program web site at www.newberry.edu/academics/specialprograms/veteransprogram.aspx.