St. Bonaventure University

Military-Aligned Students Program

Challenge

SBU had long been recognized as a military friendly college, with an 81-year commitment to Army ROTC. But administrators felt a more dedicated and intentional effort to recruit veterans and their dependents was worth the investment to help veterans understand and take full advantage of their educational benefits.

Actions

In a strategic effort to increase and diversify its student population, St. Bonaventure University initiated a Military-Aligned Students Program in 2014.

Recognizing how important a welcoming environment would be for veterans transitioning from the military, the university established a full-fledged Veterans Services Center, staffed by a full-time director and assistant director, on the second floor of the Reilly Center.

The center includes a lounge equipped with a new computer and wireless printer, allowing veteran students to complete assignments in a setting that is set aside for them and their peers. In addition, a new 40-inch TV has been added to the lounge, along with a refrigerator, microwave oven and Keurig coffeemaker.

St. Bonaventure has a local chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA), a coalition of student veterans groups on college campuses across the globe. These member chapters are the "boots on the ground” that help veterans reintegrate into campus life and succeed academically.

The SVA chapter is an officially recognized student group and provides a peer-to-peer network for veterans attending the school. The chapter often coordinates campus activities, provides pre-professional networking, and generally provides a touchstone for student veterans in higher education.

The university has long been a participant in the federal Yellow Ribbon program, which helps post-9/11 veterans, or their children, attend SBU tuition free through the GI Education Enhancement programs. St. Bonaventure is also ranked a top university by Military Advanced Education and Transition.

Outcomes

Implementation of the Military-Aligned Students program has secured additional resources on campus for veterans and their families to be able to realize their dreams and potential. The Student Veterans of America Chapter at St. Bonaventure provides networking and other readiness activities for our military students; in addition, the SVA chapter also runs many other campus fundraisers and activities. Furthermore, since our 2014 initiation of the Military-Aligned Student Program, St. Bonaventure University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Top 20 School in the North for Veterans and by Militaryfriendly.com as a gold medalist, placing it among the top 5 percent of small private colleges for services the university offers to veterans and their families.

Our military-aligned program has allowed us to focus our energies even more on providing a full range of admissions, academic and support services to those who’ve served our country so proudly.

Dr. Dennis DePerro, University President

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