Indian River State College (IRSC) has received a $449,966 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish the IRSC Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success. The College was one of only 16 higher education institutions nationwide selected for the award. The grant will help the College connect student veterans with additional academic, financial, physical and social support services through a new Veterans Center of Excellence (VCE) set to open later this year on the IRSC Pruitt Campus in Port St. Lucie.
“As a military veteran, I know firsthand that the transition from the service to civilian life comes with a unique set of challenges,” shares IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “We are grateful to the Department of Education for this opportunity to create the IRSC Veterans Center of Excellence. Here we can coordinate wrap-around support services for our student veterans from a single location. Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our nation and for each of us, and with the new Center, we are poised to help them throughout their academic journey— from application to graduation and beyond.”
IRSC currently serves more than 500 student veterans each year. Through enhanced services and physical space made possible by the grant, IRSC aims to increase enrollment among veterans and also improve the retention and completion rates of IRSC student veterans. A project director, advising staff and part-time tutors will support these efforts.
“The goal is to help our veterans connect with education to build a solid future for themselves and their families,” concludes Moore. “Whatever we can do as higher education professionals to facilitate that connection and help our veterans stay the course is not just our responsibility; it is a privilege.”
In a related story, Indian River State College (IRSC) has earned the 2021–2022 Military Friendly® School designation from Viqtory. Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey with 747 earning the designation.
“We are honored by this recognition as a Military Friendly® school,” shares Christine Denaro, Veterans Benefit’s Advisor. “IRSC has a deeply held commitment to provide our veterans with the best experience possible as a student at our College. As a Military Friendly® school, we commit to find new ways that we can serve veterans at IRSC.”
“Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data driven standards in our designation process. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to consistently evolve and invest in their programs. Schools who achieve designation show true commitment and dedication in their efforts. Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources, and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the Military Community,” shares Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly®
Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly®Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey response set and government/agency public data sources, within a logic-based scoring assessment. We measure the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
For more information about IRSC student veteran programs, visit www.irsc.edu/veterans-services
About Military Friendly® Schools:
The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data- driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate.
Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.