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New University of Akron program aims to help veterans adjust to campus life

A peer advisor is guiding each student veteran through their first semester

Published: September 20, 2016 11:55 AM
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Akron, OH – The University of Akron has become an even more welcoming place for student veterans by becoming the only university in Northeast Ohio selected as a Peer Advisors for Veterans Education (PAVE) partner campus.
The PAVE program works with student veterans—who are typically older than traditional students and who may be in the midst of making the transition from military to civilian life—and helps connect and welcome them to the university community. The program is grant-funded through the University of Michigan.
Research has shown that peer support and individualized attention are keys to helping student veterans succeed on campus. PAVE links first-year student veterans with current student veterans, with peer advisors selected based on the student’s branch of the military and their major at UA.
“Through the PAVE program, we hope to create an even stronger veterans community to help support incoming veterans in the transition from military life to college life and to encourage academic and personal success,” says Mary Rossett, associate director of the Military Services Center at UA. Rossett is confident student veterans new to campus will feel more comfortable and feel greater UA pride with implementation of the program.
There are approximately 28 advisors and 90 students currently enrolled, but the program has room to grow. PAVE is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2 – 6 p.m. on the third floor of Infocision Stadium. There will be more information about the program along with refreshments.
“The advisors have been trained to be knowledgeable about all on-and-off campus resources available to assist student veterans including tutoring as well as resources at the Veterans Administration, the counseling center and UA’s Office of Accessibility,” said Matt Altiere,  psychologist with UA’s Counseling & Testing Center and leader of the effort to bring PAVE to UA.
The University of Akron has been named PAVE Campus of the Month for its excellent implementation of the program and for what it has already accomplished in assisting student veterans at the university.
UA is one of three schools in Ohio selected by the Student Veterans of America for this program. It is fully funded by the Veterans of America and PAVE. For more information about the program, contact Mary Rossett at rossetm@uakron.edu or 330-972-7382, or Anna Friske at agf19@zips.uakron.edu.

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