The University of Michigan-Flint recognizes that returning veterans may experience unique challenges as they transition from military life to a civilian and student life. Accordingly, the University has created the Student Veterans Support Program (SVSP) to address this need. The program offers a centralized source of information and support for returning veterans as they strive to transition seamlessly. The program was initiated by Provost Jack Kay. VSSP is currently led by Associate Provost Vahid Lotfi and is supported by a team of several highly knowledgeable staff from various offices across the campus. It also enjoys strong commitment and support by the schools and the college. In its short tenure, the program has accomplished a number of important goals including:
• Creation of a new orientation session, designed specifically for veteran students
• Designation of freshmen level class sections exclusively for undergraduate veteran students
• Development of a staff recruiter position in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions
• Plans for creation of a student veteran lounge
• Development and launch of a Web site www.umflint.edu/studentveterans
• Increased support for veterans who have taken college-level coursework previously at UM-Flint or elsewhere
According to Provost Kay, returning veteran students may experience unique and unusual situations which will require a period of adjustment to transition from military life to a civilian and/or student life.
"For instance, some veterans experience heightened sensitivity to sound, crowding, or small spaces,and experts tell us, it normally takes student veterans one or two semesters to transition from military life and get used to a university environment, said Kay. "Many are not accustomed to perceived bureaucracies of an academic institution and will require extra help to navigate the system. That is why we have created a separate orientation session for them."
"The University of Michigan-Flint recognizes the tremendous sacrifice that our veterans and their families have made in serving our country," said Associate Provost Lotfi. "The SVPS has been created to ensure our student veterans would undergo a smoother transition from military life to student life and to make them feel welcomed on our campus."