Maryville College works for a more vet-friendly campus

Were you aware that by attending Maryville College you’re attending one of the most Veteran friendly schools in Tennessee?

Starting in 2013, with the formation of the Student Veteran Association, Maryville College has been making great strides to increase its support of Veterans and their transition back into society. Since the formation of the SVA, the college has continued to improve its status with veterans and the ease with which they fit in at the school.

In 2015, it was awarded the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s, or THEC, Veteran Reconnect Grant. This grant, totaling $82,000, was used to establish the Military Student Center, located on the second floor of Bartlett Hall, and bring in retired Lt Col. Ted Higgs, who is the manager of the center and an adjunct professor.

Maryville was one of only 11 schools in the state to receive this grant. However, Vandy Kemp, Dean of Students, and writer of the grant, was not satisfied.

Kemp is a large supporter of veterans, both student and non-student. The dean has played an invaluable role in making the college one of the most veteran friendly campuses in the state.

She, again, went above and beyond the call of duty and sought to receive the grant a second time. As a result, Maryville was selected to receive a second THEC Veteran Reconnect Grant. This time, the college is only of six schools selected to receive the grant.

The resources and support Maryville offers to its veterans will be expanded.

With the new grant, a new position will be created. The position, Veteran Success Coordinator, will focus on tailoring individual success plans for the student veterans. The Veteran Success Coordinator will help with academic success, degree completion and employment upon graduation.

In 2014, the THEC passed the Tennessee Veterans Education Support, or VETS Act. This act, which would later designate schools with the VETS status, gave strict guidelines as to what the schools who received the designation must do for their student veterans.

These guidelines, when followed, would provide an environment in which the student veterans would have the resources and support to thrive. This year, Maryville College received its VETS designation, one of only 15 schools in the state and the only private school.

Adding to the already impressive list of accolades, the school was designated a Military Friendly School by Victory Media, who maintains military friendly lists of schools and employers and distributes them to our armed forces.

This year, students at the MSC will be developing a newsletter that will focus on items of interest to veteran and non-veteran students, as well as the community in Maryville. Already one of the most veteran friendly schools in Tennessee, Maryville College is once again staying at the front of the field, leading by example. Take pride in being a Scot and take pride knowing your school is serving those who have served our country.

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