Over the next six years, according to estimates from the Student Veterans of America, the United States will see a 2 to 5 percent increase in veterans leaving the service to pursue higher education. Currently, UTA has between 4,000 to 5,000 military-connected students—nearly 10 percent of UTA's total student population—taking courses at any given time.
"While fully capable and qualified, our student-veterans face unique challenges," says James Kumm, executive director for Veteran Programs. Kumm is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army and a seasoned higher education administrator. "With such a large military-connected student population, UTA remains committed to welcoming and honoring military-connected families while providing resources to ensure their academic and career development success."
Part of that readiness includes the creation of Kumm's position, which was designed to coordinate and streamline veterans services; provide focus, vision, and leadership; and serve as a central point of contact for UTA's student-veterans, faculty, staff, and the local community. Over the past year, Kumm has conducted an extensive evaluation of UTA's veterans services and taken leadership of the Veterans Connection Committee, which explores and finds solutions for issues concerning student-veterans.
One of the immediate concerns the committee identified was the need for a centralized location for all UTA veteran-exclusive services. Action quickly followed, and work is underway to create a veterans service facility, a first-stop shop on campus for student-veterans. The grand opening is scheduled for spring 2019. In addition to housing all student-veteran services, the facility will include flex office space for visiting groups, a lounge and kitchen for studying and relaxing between classes, a small classroom for tutoring, and programming geared toward student-veteran integration, involvement, and academic and professional success.
"Our student-veterans continue to make sacrifices for our country. It is an honor to assist them when they choose to better themselves through higher education," Kumm says. "Veteran Programs is proud to be part of a university that believes it isn't enough to be simply veteran friendly—we must be veteran ready."
From veteran to student
UTA employs a three-tiered approach to veterans services
Helping student-veterans become familiar with the University and learn how to function outside of the military.
Assisting student-veterans in adapting to civilian life and supporting their personal and academic success.
Guiding student-veterans through the Lockheed Martin Career Development Center to understand how to use and convey their military experience to potential employers and connect them with employment opportunities.
Health and the Human Condition
Global Environmental Impact
Sustainable Urban Communities