VetSuccess on Campus Program Provides Support for Mason’s Student Veterans
September 26, 2013
By Catherine Probst
George Mason University will soon have expanded availability of services through VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC), a program operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The university is one of 62 new locations this fall — bringing the number of VSOC schools across the country to 94.
The VSOC program aims to provide a supportive, on-campus environment where veteran students can gather to obtain assistance and peer support. Experienced VA counselors will be placed directly on college campuses with the goal of assisting veteran students in making a smooth transition to college life and to successfully complete their educational programs.
“The VetSuccess on Campus program is yet another way that the university can help student veterans make the often difficult transition from military service to academic life,” says Jennifer Connors, director of Mason’s Office of Military Services. “This innovative approach will prove to be an asset to the veteran community in helping them achieve their goals.”
This expansion triples the number of on-campus VA vocational rehabilitation counselors and helps student veterans realize their career goals through the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other education benefit programs. The counselors maintain close relationships with local VA Vet Center and VA medical facilities, referring veterans as needed for counseling or medical services and providing assistance enrolling in and applying for VA medical and nonmedical benefits.
VSOC began in June 2009 with a pilot at the University of South Florida and expanded to San Diego State University and Cleveland State within six months. The program continued to grow, adding five locations in 2011 and 24 by 2012.
Partner schools are selected for the size of their student veteran population and, among other factors, their proximity to a VA regional office, vocational rehabilitation and employment service office, vet center or VA medical center.