Armstrong State University held a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 4 for the new Military Resource and Veterans Services Center, which provides support services to more than 1,000 military-affiliated students on campus.
“This is a special day,” said U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter. “What Armstrong is doing is vitally important because our military and our veterans are our heroes. This facility will serve a double function, as it will serve as a resource and also help our military and veteran students carry on in their educational needs as well.”
According to Phil Gore, Armstrong’s Military Education Coordinator, the new Military Resource and Veterans Services Center offers a unique approach by combining internal and external services to make support more accessible to current and prospective military-affiliated students.
“We have a little bit of everything going on in this center,” said Gore. “It’s a great resource for active duty military and veterans throughout the area.”
Located in the Aquatics and Recreation Center (ARC) building on Armstrong’s main campus in Savannah, the Military Resource and Veterans Services Center is supported by fellow military students and volunteers and employs four student veterans through the Veterans Affairs work study program.
At the center, prospective students can get information about Armstrong’s application and admissions process, as well as prior learning assessments for military training and experience and military and veteran education benefits. Current students can receive information about additional financial aid, housing, medical and behavioral health assistance, VA benefits and referrals to veterans’ service organizations.
Military-affiliated students also have access to computers and a resource library and can participate in peer-to-peer individual and group tutoring sessions. The Student Veterans of America office provides information about morale, recreation, fundraising and community service events. Armstrong’s Veterans Services office also provides support form external agencies to help veterans as they transition from military to university and civilian life.
“This new center marks how much Armstrong’s support of our military and veteran students has grown throughout the years,” said Armstrong President Linda M. Bleicken. “Nearly three years ago, we opened our Veteran Resource Center in the Student Union. Now, with this new facility, we will be able to serve even more military-affiliated students in our community.”
The new Military Resource and Veterans Services Center is just one of the many ways Armstrong supports its military and veteran students. Armstrong’s efforts were recently acknowledged by the Military Times, which ranked the institution 12th among four-year schools on its Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 list. Armstrong is currently listed in the 2015 Guide to Military Friendly Schools and recently launched the Green Zone program to support active duty military students and veterans on campus.
In 2014, the university waived all mandatory fees for active duty military as a part of its ongoing commitment to military students. In addition to providing a supportive campus environment, Armstrong is a part of a network of universities that guarantees transferability of credits for military students, provides in-state tuition for members of the military and their families, and offers college credit for military experience.
As a complement to Armstrong’s main campus in Savannah, the university operates the Armstrong Liberty Center in Hinesville, which helps members of military community and their families pursue higher education and earn college degrees in key fields in Liberty County. A new expanded facility is currently under construction in downtown Hinesville.