University of Mary Helps Veterans with New Program - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

University of Mary Helps Veterans with New Program

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It's true that some military veterans have a hard time re-acclimating into civilian life. National and local campaigns urge companies to hire more veterans. Colleges and universities are working to get vets back in school, turning their military efforts into resume experience.

The Veterans Educational Training program, in North Dakota, specializes in helping veterans get back to school.

Veterans Educational Training is government funded program with classes already in Fargo and Grand Forks, but more veterans in the Bismarck area need guidance. So, VET created an online program and combined efforts with the University of Mary to offer classrooms, computers and mentors to help.

"This is just a starting point for them. It gives them an avenue to get comfortable again. And it also gives them an avenue to discover whether or not they're suited for a larger institution or a smaller one," says Program Coordinator, Jeri Vaudrin. 

"What we do provide is an environment for them to learn. This allows them to be on a campus,  and provides support, that one on one support. Obviously, we want to introduce them to the University of Mary in hope that they would want to attend classes here," says Rachael Brash, UMARY.

Veterans will get help in the basics like math, English, and study skills. If they already know what areas they'd like to study, VET can help.

"This is just a starting point for them. It gives them an avenue to get comfortable again. And it also gives them an avenue to discover whether or not they're suited when they first come back to being in a larger institution or a smaller one," says Vaudrin.

Coming back into the civilian world can be difficult, especially if veterans do it on their own.

"The first class that I went to I stepped into the room and I said to the instructor at the University of Mary, ' My name is Art Baake, and I"m very scared to be here.' I didn't know how to write a paper. I didn't know what was expected of me. I had a lot of anxiety, as far as going back to school after not being in school for 17 years. And I thought, how am I going to get through this?" says veteran, Art Bakke. 

He did. It took Bakke 26 months to earn a Bachelors in Science Organizational Leadership, Human Resource and Information Technology Management. That's not to say it wouldn't take just as long with help from the VET program.

"We just encourage them to come try it and see how college life fits their life. And we hope that they continue on," says Certified Offical for Veterans Benefits, Lonnie Privratsky.

The University of Mary will begin offering the VET online this spring.

Bakke went on to say, veterans looking to go back to school should do it. The GI benefits were part of joining the services, why waste a free or almost free education?

 

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