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Student Veteran Offerings

Friday, August 3, 2012

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

The University of Texas at Arlington is taking significant steps to help address the mental and academic needs of military veterans who will make the transition into college life this school year.

A record 590,000 military veterans will use the Post 9/11 GI Bill for higher education.

The initiatives include a special Military Muster on Wednesday, Aug. 8, when some 200 wounded veterans will learn about adaptive sports and recreation; new School of Social Work courses for people who want to serve military veterans with mental healthcare needs; plus, a workshop series that helps student veterans better handle the challenges of the classroom.

A new report says as more American troops return from the Middle East, a record 590,000 veterans will use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for higher education. Eligible veterans earn tuition and other benefits to cover expenses related to attending college free for four years.

UT Arlington expects about 1,000 veterans to be enrolled in fall 2012 courses. That figure represents a little more than a 50 percent increase over the 525 veterans that enrolled at the University during both the fall and spring 2009 semesters.

Classes start Thursday, Aug. 23.

Movin’ Mavs Muster

Injured service veterans from around Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma are expected to learn about adapted sports and recreation from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday at the Maverick Activities Center, 500 W. Nedderman Drive.

UT Arlington's Movin' Mavs wheelchair basketball players will discuss adaptive sports and recreation with wounded veterans.

The Military Muster is co-hosted by the UT Arlington Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team, U.S. Paralympics, Paralympic Sport Arlington, and Wounded Warriors.

“Sports are used as a tool to help soldiers transition to civilian life after service, and to encourage them to continue their studies,” said Movin’ Mavs coach Doug Garner. Mavs players and coaches will demonstrate rotations on sit volleyball, archery, and wheelchair basketball. There will also be educational sessions.   

The event is free and open to the public.

 “I think these types of events are important for two reasons,” Garner said. “It shows the University is working to meeting the needs of all student veterans to help them have a full college experience; and, it shows the veterans ways to get out and participate in activities that maybe they didn’t know about or have experienced before – meet people, make contacts and move their lives forward after injury, illness or other life changes.”

UT Arlington has offered wheelchair basketball since 1976. More than a decade later, the recreational team became a recognized intercollegiate program. Participating students are eligible for full-tuition scholarships.

For more information, email Doug Garner, For more information about the Wounded Warrior Project, please visit

Focus on military mental health

New coursework provided through the UT Arlington School of Social Work will help graduate students learn to better serve veterans and active members of the military with mental health needs.

Beginning this fall, graduate students may enroll in “Special Topic in Social Welfare,” an introductory, elective course covering the military culture and human behavior in the social environment.

Alexa Smith-Osborne, associate professor and principle investigator of the school’s Student Veteran Project, said the need for military social work courses is great. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says many veterans returning from the war zone will struggle with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and other serious emotional and mental health issues.

New military mental health course will be offered through the School of Social Work.

Smith-Osborne said that because of the stigma often attached with seeking mental health care, many soldiers will not get treatment. “As thousands of veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan, many have concerns about getting mental health care,” she said. “Also, many veterans will live in rural areas that do not have a military installation or veterans medical center nearby.”

The School of Social Work eventually plans to offer a certificate program for social workers that want to help veterans or active members of the military. If the certificate program is approved, Military Social Work 1 and Military Social Work 2 will also be offered.

Contact Alexa Smith-Osborne at 817-272-3181, for more information.

Adjusting to the classroom

Conducting research, writing papers, taking exams and attending campus events can be a tough balancing act for any new college student. For military veterans, there are unique money matters, peer pressures, and even more issues.

UT Arlington’s University College, a one-stop shop for advising, tutoring and counseling, will provide strategies to help veterans make a more seamless transition to the classroom when it hosts its Student Veterans Workshop Series from Sept. 5 to Nov. 14.

The series includes:

  • Sept. 5:  Transitioning into College and Exploring University Resources – Student veterans will learn about the differences between the military and college lifestyle, and discuss how to transition from a chain of command to working with faculty, staff and advisers. 
  • Sept. 19:  Improving your Time Management – There is an ever-changing list of priorities for college students. This workshop will teach student veterans how to shift from the military’s “Hurry up and Wait” mentality to the manage-your-own-time expectations of college.
  • Oct. 3:  Reading, Note-Taking, and Study Strategies – This workshop will focus on improving your reading and note-taking skills. Student veterans will also learn effective strategies for studying college textbooks versus military training manuals.  
  • Oct. 17:  Information Processing: Teaching Styles vs. Learning Styles - This workshop introduces the concept of a learning style and helps student veterans figure out their own.  
  • Oct. 31:  Creating Effective Cover Letters and Resumes – Cliff Garinn, a UT Arlington Career Center representative and military veteran, will discuss how student veterans can maximize their military experience on a resume, offer tips to improve a cover letter, and discuss current job search methods.
  • Nov. 14:  Test-Taking and Preparing for Final Exams – Tests are an important part of assessing how much a student has learned. To be successful on a test, however, students need a strategy for success. This workshop will discuss the development of a study strategy, including helping the student develop a five-day study plan to prevent the need for cramming.

All workshops will be held from 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. at University College, Room 303, 602 W. Second St. A campus map is available online at

The series is free and requires no advanced registration. Contact Roxanna Latifi at 817-272-6107, or visit this link for more information.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution in the heart of North Texas. For more information, visit


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.