Ivy Tech Richmond and IU East collaborate to offer services for military, veteran students

June 27th, 2011

Ivy Tech Community College Richmond and Indiana University East have developed a partnership to enhance services for military students and veterans. The two institutions collaborated for funding through Operation Diploma, an initiative of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, and received $99,999 beginning July 1, 2011, for several initiatives to help military and veteran students with their educational goals and employability.

Of the 21 universities and colleges receiving MFRI funding, Ivy Tech’s and IU East’s collaborative proposal received the top award in the state.

The grant is supported through the Lilly Endowment, Inc., to support the efforts to serve student service members and veterans and their families.

“We are excited to be able to partner with IU East in assisting our military service members with their educational and professional goals,” said Kimberly Butts, financial aid assistant/school certifying official and Student Veterans Organization advisor at Ivy Tech. “This grant will allow us to develop a relationship between the community, IU campuses and our military service members and students. We look forward to host a statewide Financial Literacy conference that will focus on the needs of all student service members from around the state.”

Ivy Tech and IU East have a long-standing history of continued partnership that has resulted in greater educational opportunities for those living in the region. The collaboration on services for military and veteran students is another example of how the two institutions are effectively using resources to serve the region.

“We are pleased to have a collaborative opportunity with our partners at Ivy Tech Richmond.  This partnership will allow us to serve our veterans, their families and the community, with supportive services and in assisting with the transition from a two- to four-year institution,” said Sarah Soper, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at IU East.

The grant will provide funding for a Boots to Suits service to help transition from military to civilian life including assistance for resume writing, interviewing skills, and a partnership with Career Service to organize job fairs throughout the year.

Under the grant, Ivy Tech will expand its third annual Veterans Fair, a year-end event to celebrate the success of student veterans who are graduating, and develop a partnership with IU East through this event that will help veteran students transition from their two-year degree to a four-year degree.

Other highlights of the grant include:
•    A two-day event will be held at Ivy Tech Richmond for Indiana campuses to develop and sustain their Student Veteran Organizations. The event will focus on building best practices and student intervention and how SVOs can work with local social service agencies, employers and community veterans to enhance opportunities for student veterans.

•    Ivy Tech Richmond will expand its Library of Congress Veterans History Project documenting student veterans’ history to include even more Ivy Tech military and veteran students and to include IU East students.

•    Provide returning veterans disabled during active duty with necessary apparatuses for maximum mobility. Awards will be made based on applicants’ need and awarded by Ivy Tech Community College Richmond and the IU East Student Veterans Organization.

•    Attendance to the St. Louis Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Conference for Ivy Tech and IU East Veterans Affairs Certifying Official project coordinators for VA training.

For more information, contact Kimberly Butts, financial aid assistant/school certifying official and Student Veterans Organization advisor at Ivy Tech, at (765) 966-2656 extension 1220 or email kwheeler@ivytech.edu. The contact at IU East is Sarah Soper, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, at (765) 973-8206 or email saeaton@iue.edu.

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