VA announces pilot program at UI for student veterans' education - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

VA announces pilot program at UI for student veterans' education

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

A new pilot program aimed to support the nearly 600 student veterans on the University of Iowa campus, was announced Monday.

Iowa Consortium of Veteran Excellence (ICOVE) is a new initiative rolled out at the university by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It marks the first program of its kind in the nation, and aims to assist and address the transition from the military to post secondary education.

“Veterans are very different, especially here on campus,” said student and president of UI’s Veterans Association. “Everyone’s experience in the military is different and I think it’s a great thing that ICOVE does and it has many different subsets, within the program and then it addresses the many things that veterans may need here on campus.”

With this new pilot program Considine says they’ll have access to services that will help them graduate and find a job.

Some of those services include peer mentoring along with physical and mental development courses.

“This project involves collaboration between the government, academia and the private sector,” said Michael Hall, ICOVE director. “Want to develop a program that can go to another campus and that campus can own it and apply it.”

Over the course of two years Staff will collect data on graduation rates, student retention and employment following graduation to ensure the it’s effective.

“Switching from a technical mindset, back to an academic mindset was extremely difficult,” said Considine. “You can treat them the same as a normal high school student that’s entering college, they’re much different in their mindset. They may be much more valuable, but they just need to be treated just a little bit different from a traditional student."

ICOVE is being developed as a model program that can be adopted by other colleges and universities.

UI has been already been contacted by at least 15 other institutions both in the state and regionally.

The program will roll out for the first time during the spring 2015 semester.

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