Texas A&M announced on Aug. 27 a partnership with Service to School, a non-profit that helps prepare servicemen and veterans for higher education opportunities.
This partnership was orchestrated through the Office of Military Admissions and the Don & Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support System, which is a part of Student Affairs. Itallows A&M to be one of the less than 30 universities in the nation recommended to service members seeking higher education. Service to School is a free service to veterans that provides resources and recommendations about which programs will best fit them. This allows for select universities involved with Service to School to be given the best candidates for their programs and helps with advising and setting expectations for students.
A&M Assistant Director for Military Admissions Karen Cambronero said Service to School has already sent some highly qualified students to their office.
“By explaining how colleges work and helping veterans know about the application process, [Service to School] takes a good hour off our process with [prospective students] because we’re not having to explain every little detail,” Cambronero said. “Veterans are getting a lot more information by going through Service to School, and we get some good information we can work with when they come to us.”
A&M is one of the 24 schools in this program, standing alongside universities such as Harvard, Dartmouth and Princeton. According to Service to School’s website, only highly accredited institutions are considered for partnerships.
“Service to School has partnered with select colleges and universities to form VetLink, a network of schools committed to expanding access and opportunity for student veterans,” the website reads. “Our partner colleges are widely known for academic excellence, aspiring students, leading-edge research and high graduation rates.”
Retired Marine Corps Colonel and Office of Veteran Services directorGerald Smith said veterans are well suited for higher education and programs like this allow for great candidates to be pointed toward A&M.
“Service to School is a national non-profit and they have some reach and access across the country to veteran organizations where veterans can find them,” Smith said. “They might not necessarily be able to easily find A&M and understand how veteran-friendly we are. When they contact Service to School, they’ll get a little bit of information from them, but their real strength is working with that veteran and learning the basics and they refer them to our military admissions office that we house here.”
A&M is one of the only universities in the country with a full-time military admissions office. The Service to School partnership allows the military admissions office to get high quality referrals and begin the work to help student veterans succeed, according to Smith.
“Our goal is just to transform and maintain Texas A&M University for the destination of choice for student veteran success,” Smith said.