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Higher Education
Texas A&M University
News Release with photos by Juan Peña
Sunday, September 14, 2014

COLLEGE STATION – In only two years, the Texas A&M University Veteran Resource & Support Center (VRSC) has worked to improve, support and ease the transition from the military to academia for more than 1,100 current and former members of the military who are now students here, and it also works to help approximately 2,500 military dependents, spouses and survivors who are currently enrolled. 

Since its opening on Sept. 1, 2012, the center, part of the Division of Student Affairs, has worked to fulfill its mission of identifying, developing and providing uniquely tailored resources and programs for the university’s military-affiliated students. 

The VRSC, located in Koldus Room 112, has grown to include five full-time staff and nine Veteran Administration (VA) student workers. This staff includes two military admissions advisers who assist hundreds of prospective student veterans every month.  Texas A&M is also now one of 94 campuses nationwide with a full-time VA employee (a Vet Success on Campus Counselor) permanently assigned to serve students. 

The VRSC Director, Col. Jerry Smith, USMC (Ret.) and a 1982 Texas A&M graduate, says “these staff members provide our military-affiliated students with a unique combination of resources that few other universities can offer.”

In just two years, the VRSC has developed and conducts 22 key programs and actively supports an additional 12 programs that are administered by other campus offices.  These programs are focused on academic and transition support, peer mentoring, admissions, military-affiliated student organization support, physical and mental health, employment and awareness. 

The “Aggie Veteran Network” is a key program that connects students with those who can provide resources and support. Smith adds that it also links military-affiliated students with high-impact opportunities that support each other and the local community.

Texas A&M also is one of the few universities with two veteran offices on campus.  The other office, the Veteran Services Office (VSO), is a part of Scholarships & Financial Aid and is located in the Pavilion.  The VSO is responsible for processing veterans’ educational benefits and also advising military affiliated students in regards to maximizing their college funding through scholarships and financial aid.

“The close partnership between the VSO and the VRSC is the key to success.  Our two offices can now provide comprehensive support from “application to vocation” to truly serve well those who have served and sacrificed for our country,” Smith adds.

In the past year alone, Aggie success in terms of military-affiliated student support has been recognized in five separate national rankings.  Texas A&M is the highest ranking four-year public university in Texas and among the leaders nationally, according to Military Times Edge’s “Best for Vets.” 

As the VRSC marks its two-year anniversary, Smith says he believes that “while we have made progress, a lot of work remains to further enhance the rich Aggie legacy and tradition of military and student veteran support.” 

For more information about the VRSC, contact Col. Jerry Smith ‘82, USMC, (Ret.) at gsmith@tamu.edu or 979-845-3161. 




Remembering Jim Guidry


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