8/2/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – In 2012, Ashland University established a Veteran Services Office to coordinate recruitment and support services for military and veteran students. There are approximately 100 veterans at AU in the undergraduate, graduate and seminary programs.
The establishment of the office followed the recommendation of the Veteran Task Force, which advises the administration about how AU could better serve and attract students from the armed forces.
Dr. John Sikula was hired initially to be the Veterans Affairs coordinator and earlier this year Jeromesville native Randy Spade was hired to take over that role. The office is under the umbrella of the Registrar’s Office and is located at 206 Founders Hall.
“I enjoy the opportunity to start a number of new services and programs designed to enhance the opportunities for adult learners and veterans,” said Spade, who also serves as mayor of the village of Jeromesville. “Our plan is that AU will soon be able to more successfully compete for an increasing number of students utilizing GI Bill funds as veterans return to campuses for career developing experiences.”
Spade said several initiatives have been implemented by the office. These include:
· Implementation of a Veterans Cording Ceremony in which veterans received patriotic Cords of Honor that were later worn during the spring Commencement ceremony.
· An AU Chapter of Student Veterans of America being established, with officers elected, a constitution approved, and programs planned and conducted.
· Core hours for honorably discharged veterans having been doubled.
· An Advisory Board of 16 members has been organized and several meetings have been held.
· A Mansfield Office, located in the AU College of Nursing and Health Sciences, has been established to better serve students in Richland County.
· Two new certification programs have been approved in the areas of Fitness Training and Basic Emergency Medical Technician Training.
· AU has been designated as a Military Friendly School.
· A Veterans Day Ceremony has been organized and conducted as an annual event.
· The AU website has been enhanced to better inform all about the Veteran Services on campus.
· Veteran counseling has been made available at no charge, under the direction of Chaplain Bill Payne of the Ashland Theological Seminary.
According to Spade, these representative examples of progress are important steps in designing and implementing services to assist an increasingly important part of American society.
Anyone desiring additional information about the Veteran Services Office, or having any questions, should contact Spade at 419.207.6478 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###