The Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS)

The Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Military Connected Student Centers are proud to share two programs we currently house to engage with the local and national veteran populations.

TOP Legacy:
The University of Arizona VETS program inherited roughly 2000 Vietnam-era military dog tags and has pledged to continue the mission to return these personal effects to the veteran or surviving family members!  Since we’ve started returning tags in the summer of 2017, we’ve successfully reunited 6 dog tags to their rightful veteran and gifted 1 to the veteran’s spouse.  It is our goal to return the roughly 2000 dog tags in our stewardship!

TOP (Tours Of Peace) Vietnam Veterans was an independent, nonprofit organization, created in 1998 for helping veterans and families through programs associated with Tours Of Peace.  The programs included emotional support for Vietnam veterans, support for their families, humanitarian work in Vietnam, and the personal effects program.  TOP Vietnam Veterans recovered personal effects left in Vietnam after the war, such as dog tags and clothing, and returned them to veterans and surviving family members. These personal belongings are both a remembrance and a way to honor the veteran's service.  

For more information on our TOP Legacy program please visit: http://vets.arizona.edu/top

Honor Flight of Southern Arizona:
Thanks to a generous donation from the Bert W. Martin Foundation, The University of Arizona in partnership with the Honor Flight of Southern Arizona, sponsored an Honor Flight over Labor Day Weekend Sep 2nd -4th, 2017. 19 student veterans, 3 staff, and our donor served as guardians for 23 WWII and Korean War veterans to visit memorials in Washington, DC. Another University of Arizona Honor Flight is currently being scheduled for May 2018.

For information on applying to the next Honor Flight, please visit: http://vets.arizona.edu/apply-serve-guardian-honor-flights-washington-dc

Please continue to learn more about the UA VETS program and services we provide!

Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Military Connected Student Centers provides a resource center for all the military-connected students (active, veteran, guard/reserve, spouses, and children) on campus. We strive to provide the tools and assistance necessary for students to achieve academic success while fostering camaraderie and engagement.  VETS operates out of the 4th Floor of the Student Union Memorial Center, Rm 404-PP and is open Monday-Thursday 8am-8pm, and Friday 8am-5pm.  There is also a second location at the Arizona Health and Sciences Library with similar hours of operation.

VETS is an organization run by veterans, spouses, dependents, and current service members who through their shared experiences endeavor to maintain a dynamic and effective program which is responsive to the needs of our community.

If you have questions concerning anything please feel free to contact vetsofc@email.arizona.edu or call 520-626-8380.  You can also request to be added to our listserv to be kept up to date on all events and activities.

Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Military Connected Student Centers

  • Two locations totaling 4,240 square feet of dedicated space, 26 VA Work Study student veterans, and eight student veteran tutors.
  • The VETS Center on main campus has expanded and moved twice since first opening its doors in the fall of 2009. The VETS Center is approximately 3800 square feet and had 11,106 visits in the fall of 2015.
  • The Arizona Health Science Center (AHSC) VETS Center opened in November of 2013 following Veterans Day. The AHSC VETS Center is approximately 440 square feet and is designed to better engage our medical, nursing, pharmacy, and public health student veterans.  

Warrior Scholar Project (WSP):
The University of Arizona hosted its second iteration of the Warrior Scholar Project June 11th – June 24th.  Created in conjunction with Yale University, WSP consists of an immersive one-week academic boot camp at America’s top universities for veterans who were enlisted and planning on attending a college or university. Other host universities include Vasser College, Yale, University of Michigan, Harvard, UNC Chapel Hill, Syracuse, Cornell, Georgetown, University of Oklahoma, University of Southern California, and the University of Chicago.

Faculty Fellows:
Our Faculty Fellows for our military-connected population are:

  • Dr. Faten Ghosn, Associate Professor School of Government and Public Policy and Middle Eastern and North African Studies
  • Dr. Ed Prather, Associate Professor, Astronomy

Faculty Fellows role at UA are to foster students' connection to UA as a whole, help make a large school feel much smaller, and to create avenues for student-faculty relationship building.

PALS (Peer Advocacy Liaisons):
Peer Advocacy Liaisons (PALS) are student veterans trained to help vets in many areas of campus life, from where to get books and which faculty to take classes from to the vast number of resources that are available on campus. PALS are equipped to help incoming as well as current student veterans, dependents and service members in their transition from navigating the GI Bill to dealing with issues of inclusion, PTSD, separation from loved ones and college life.

Networking and Employment Events:
The Student Veterans of America operating out of the VETS Centers has hosted a plethora of networking and employment events from 30 second elevator pitches and resume writing to looking to specifically hire veterans.  Amazon, Enterprise, Intuit, Raytheon, TEKsystems, and USAA are just a few of the companies we’ve invited to speak to our students.

Supportive Education for Returning Veterans (SERV) Online:
A one credit colloquium course that explores the best practices in developing personal and professional resiliency has been created online! SERV consists of five courses designed for veterans to transition from the military into higher education. The courses satisfy graduation requirements and aim to increase student resiliency while increasing retention rates.  The first 50 students to register will have the course paid for by a generous donation from the Bert W. Martin Foundation!

Student Veteran Mentorship & Network: Connecting to the college & future employees
Creating a mentorship and networking program within the colleges to connect incoming student veterans to student veterans and staff within their departments and colleges. Additionally, we are working directly with employers who are seeking to hire veterans and creating an online portal for conversation within each college and for student veterans and employers to connect directly.

University of Arizona Veteran Alliance Training:
A learning opportunity for faculty and staff at UA to understand the military experience and issues that affect our military-connected students.  We look at the diversity and strengths this population bring to our classrooms and campus while exploring the many resources the University of Arizona makes available to both them and their families.  Completing all three sessions and online training module recognizes faculty and staff as one of UA’s Veteran Allies with a certificate and window placard.

Welcome Back and Finals events:
VETS kicks off each semester with a chance for community and campus partners to meet the students they serve.  This provides an opportunity to put a face to the name of our most important partners.  During finals week, we provide breakfast to help fuel the brains of our student population.

MIlitary-Connected Orientations:
VETS participates in freshman, transfer, and graduate/professional student orientations in order to engage our population before they hit the campus.  New students are called prior to their orientation in order to make them aware of the resources and services available to them.

Partnerships
Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS)

  • Lead Psychologist of the SAVAHCS provided weekly one-on-one counseling and group counseling out of the VETS Center until his retirement. Initiated, unofficially in 2006, officially in 2008. Following his retirement in 2014 the University of Arizona hired him full time to work in the VETS Center
  • The Transition Patient Advocate for OEF/OIF/OND providing healthcare guidance and appropriate follow up for student veterans in the VETS Center regularly throughout the year: Initiated 2010
  • Nurse practitioner enrolling student veterans into the VA Health Care System out of Campus Health 4 – 5 times per semester: Initiated 2014
  • Information Technology VA Work Study Partner Program. Partnering with the IT department to train student veteran VA work studies who will portion time between the SAVAHCS and the UA VETS Centers: Initiated June 2016

Pat Tillman Foundation:
One of 17 partner institutions with the Pat Tillman Foundation, six current Tillman Scholars.

Disability Resource Center (DRC):
An access consultant at the DRC is designated for veterans who require accommodations for disabilities.

Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic, UA James E. Rogers College of Law
Provides Students the opportunity to assist military service members and veterans with legal issues, including representing them before local Veterans Courts, as well as work on policy issues related to military service

Vice Provost Office for Instruction and Assessment:
Partnered in the creation of a video designed for faculty to better engage student veterans.