Program grows to aid veterans seeking collegiate education
New online collaborations between North Dakota State University’s Veterans Education Training program and the University of Mary, Minot State University and North Dakota State College of Science will soon expand services to help veterans prepare for a college education. Starting Jan. 13, veterans can take online preparatory courses by visiting those campuses, using space provided for them and getting assistance as they prepare to attend the college of their choice. More sites will be added in the future.
In addition, veterans who prefer to access computers from home or other venues also can take the online precollege courses.
During the last legislative session, funding was provided to assist veterans seeking a certificate or diploma from a North Dakota institution of higher education. In an effort to serve as a bridge for veterans to enter and complete college, preparatory courses are offered through a cooperative effort between Veterans Educational Training and post-secondary institutions across the state. The service is provided free to veterans who plan to attend a college or university in North Dakota. Currently, classrooms are available at NDSU and the University of North Dakota. Veterans not living in those areas can take online courses.
According to Jeri Vaudrin, Veterans Education Training project coordinator, veterans who have been out of the educational arena for a few years can find it difficult to adapt to being a student. Veterans can struggle to complete their educational goals because of time away from the structure of school, the need to provide for their families and health issues caused by deployment.
Vaudrin said the last census showed there were about 55,750 veterans in the state. “While one-third of them enrolled in classes, only 20 percent completed and earned a degree. Our veterans deserve a better chance to reach their lifelong goals,” she said. “The state of North Dakota and our post-secondary institutions recognize the needs of our veterans. Through this program, we can provide a means for them to reach their goals at no cost. North Dakota veterans have sacrificed a great deal over the years – this is an opportunity for us to give back to those who deserve it most.”