United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) awarded NOVA a grant for $30,000 to support “Veteran Student Success,” a model program in NOVA’s Office of Military Services (OMS) for veteran student success based on dedicated support services and resources.
The purpose of the award is to increase awareness that leads to student veteran enrollment, persistence and graduation at NOVA. The funds will enable NOVA to provide essential support for NOVA’s growing student veteran population and enhance NOVA’s response to the magnitude of challenges facing veterans as they return to civilian and student life.
OMS has created a dedicated academic advising support position that is committed to meeting the educational needs of veterans. A primary goal of the Veteran Student Success Program is to provide educational advising to veterans so they can make a smooth transition from the military culture to a higher education environment. The funding also has been used to develop and conduct faculty and staff training.
OMS is working to create a veterans handbook as suggested by both faculty and students, providing campus faculty and staff with a reference guide to military culture and lingo, as well as informative resources detailing common issues that reintegrating veterans can face. These resources can be posted on the Internet or can be made available at staff training events.
With the grant funding, OMS hired Ronny Romero as the transitional veterans advising coach. He will assist current NOVA veterans with their educational needs and goals. Romero is a decorated combat veteran with broad military experience, a graduate of NOVA, and currently a student at George Mason University pursuing a degree in atmospheric science.