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Raul's Report


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VETERANS, TRANSITIONS & COMMITMENTS​

Mid-terms behind us, finals and Commencement just around the corner. Where has the semester gone? Where has the year gone!

Saluting our veterans
Next week is already Veterans Day and we’ll spend it recognizing, honoring and thanking the military veterans who are part of our CU Denver and CU Anschutz campus communities. To our student veterans, I extend a special thank you. They’ve endured hardship and placed their lives in danger on our behalf. And, as much as I honor their commitment and service, I really admire their decision to pursue a degree. 

Transition challenges
Higher education is never easy. Now, imagine the challenges faced by our student veterans as they transition from a military environment to a college campus. Luckily for them, and for us, we have a cutting edge veterans’ support team offering assistance and guidance. 

You may have noticed that we recently changed the name of our veterans services area from the Office of Veteran Student Services to the Office of Veteran & Military Student Services (VMSS). We did that in order to reflect an even more inclusive environment. 

Recognition for outstanding services
VMSS numbers indicate that in the past five years, the number of our students with a connection to the military, as veterans, active military or military family members, has more than doubled. We’re routinely recognized nationally for using best practices in supporting our students connected to the military and I'm proud to let you know that it's happened again! We just received word that we've been designated as a “military friendly” campus by the Military Times for the seventh straight year.

From navigating the military’s benefits system to offering innovative programs to help veterans transition from campus to career, we can all be proud of the services offered. To better understand the impact the programs can have, I encourage you to check out the “What’s New” section of this newsletter and meet Stephanie Espinoza, a student veteran who’s currently taking advantage of the Boots to Suits mentorship program.

Committed to career preparation 
The VMSS programs also serve as good examples of the 11th commitment on the list of our Division of Student Affairs Twelve Commitments. It says we’re committed to preparing students for next steps after graduation. We often talk about beginning with the end in mind and certainly starting those career conversations early on is one way we can all assist. In addition to the formal programming offered by VMSS, the Career Center, TRiO Support Services, the Experiential Learning Center and so many others, something as simple as sharing the story of your own career journey can help provide a student with direction and purpose. You can read more about the 11th commitment and some of our colleague’s reflections on it, in the “What’s New” section of this newsletter.

Thank you 
So, remember to thank our veterans next week and let’s get those conversations started with all of our students about career steps after graduation. It’s your support that makes all the difference.

Thanks for all you do,
 

Raul Cardenas, PhD, Vice Chancellor, CU Denver | Anschutz Division of Student Affairs


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