UT is among the most military friendly schools in Texas, according to a list recently published by GI Jobs magazine.
This annual list recognizes the top 20 percent of schools from each state in terms of military friendliness.
“The list itself is designed to be a resource for students. We are trying to match students with schools that meet their unique needs,” said Sean Collins, general manager for GI Jobs.
Collins said the ranking was based on four factors: non-financial effort, financial effort, schools results in recruiting military and veteran students and factors such as a school’s academic accreditation.
“The list was compiled using a survey derived by a third party academic advisory board,” Collins said.
The survey was sent to and completed by over 8,000 schools, including UT.
Assistant dean of students LaToya Hill said that UT has recently been investing in becoming more military friendly through a number of programs.
“Two years ago UT organized a Veterans Services committee to provide information and coordination of resources,” Hill said.
This initiative employed resources and individuals from all over campus and resulted in a number of advancements in the way that UT assists its veteran students.
“Among other things, they developed a comprehensive website with resources and videos for veterans at UT and their families,” Hill said. Additionally, officials at UT are working to establish a Student Veterans Services Office located in the Student Services Building.
She said that the Dean of Students has a close working relationship with the Student Veterans Association.
The SVA’s charter states that “the primary purpose of the Student Veterans Association at the University of Texas at Austin is to serve the needs of students with prior or current military association, their families and dependents.”
Shawn Fogarty, event coordinator for the SVA, said that the organization also works to link students with resources on campus and establish social connections with other veteran students.
“Connecting veteran students with other veterans at UT is especially important for new students, because [as a veteran] you don’t come into UT like freshman or sophomores,” Fogarty said. “You feel much more like you are a senior.”
He said that this was especially important for young students who come into UT without the network of high school friends that most freshmen have.
“[I would like to see UT do more through] the new Veterans Services Office, like helping students translate military skills into job skills, write resumes that better represent their abilities, help them with career choices and connect them to other veterans.”
Both Fogarty and Hill said they were excited for these new developments at UT in assisting veteran students and their families.