UST Recognized as Military Friendly School
The University of St. Thomas was recently recognized as a 2013 Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine. The designation was awarded through a survey that assessed services and resources offered to veterans and their dependents. With 134 veterans on campus, UST offers many programs, benefits and workshops that cater to and support those who served in the military.
UST is a participant in the Yellow Ribbon program, which helps qualifying veterans pay tuition costs exceeding the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s usual cap for private schools. This means many veterans attend UST with no tuition cost.
Phillip Butcher, director of Transfer Admissions and Veteran Services, believes students who have served in the armed forces deserve the highest level of service and support.
“I feel that this award is a validation of all of the work that we have put in,” said Butcher. “The UST faculty and staff who work with the veterans know we are a military-friendly school, and we offer more support than a lot of other schools. It is nice to be recognized for our service.”
Butcher, an Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, maintains an open-door policy and encourages veterans to contact him to get fast responses for a variety of issues.
Charles Holtsclaw, a senior philosophy major and Corporal in the United States Marines Corps, appreciated the ease of getting into the University with the help of Veterans Services and the Office of the Registrar.
“They had my Post-9/11 GI Bill paperwork complete before another school even called me back,” Holtsclaw said.
Veteran Services holds two gatherings each month and strives to involve the veterans with events and programs on campus, such as barbecues and social events. Holtsclaw, who works with Butcher coordinating events, said these veteran meet-ups were critical in helping him overcome the challenges of adjusting to a collegiate environment.
“The age and experience difference makes getting back into school more difficult,” Holtsclaw said. “You’re older than everybody else, and some people are coming back from combat zones. I had been in Afghanistan just a few months prior to starting school. It’s good to have people who have been where you have been.”
UST offers several services to veterans that help them acclimate to college and professional life. Services include one-on-one attention and mentorship, a resume coach to offer career assistance and partnerships with organizations that provide veteran benefits and resources.
“With all the programs in place, UST is far and above better than other schools I looked at. I was really impressed that they don’t just focus on you while you’re here,” said Holtsclaw. “They look to take care of you post-graduation.”
Learn more about veteran services, by attending a Veteran Open House at 5p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. For more information, contact Phillip Butcher: 713.942.3409 or firstname.lastname@example.org.