Hodges University has announced plans to open a Veterans Services Center for its students on both their Naples and Ft. Myers campuses. The Center will be housed in the Student Development area of the new Ft. Myers building upon its completion in early 2012. Lee Smith, who recently completed her Master’s in Professional Studies at Hodges, has been promoted to Director of Veterans Services. She currently serves as the Hodges University GI Bill Certifying Official, and will retain those duties as she gets the new Center up and running.
“Lee proposed the idea of the Center earlier this year, and has been diligently researching similar programs offered at other institutions,” said John White, Executive Vice President of Administration at Hodges. “Providing services specifically designed to benefit our veterans is an important undertaking for Hodges University. Additional services can be provided using the resources available through the Veterans Administration, as well as other resources that can be gained through community outreach. She will also be providing outreach services to our online and learning site veterans.”
The planned Veterans Services Center will provide GI Bill processing and information, details on available counseling, workshops and Veterans organization contacts, peer to peer support groups for student veterans and community involvement. This, along with our active Veterans Club, will assure student veterans that Hodges stands ready to help those who have served transition back to civilian life and academic success.
Hodges has reported a steady increase in the number of recent veterans enrolling in their degree programs. In 2009, Hodges University announced that it would be participating in the federal government’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides tuition and fee assistance to eligible veterans. The program enables qualified veterans to attend the institution with virtually no financial burden.
The Yellow Ribbon Program is part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Assistance Act of 2008 through which qualified veterans can receive GI Bill funds to help cover tuition and fees equal to the most expensive in-state undergraduate education at a public university. Under the Yellow Ribbon Program provision, Hodges and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will provide matching contributions for tuition over the maximum state tuition rate.
The University plans to open a Veteran Services Center at its Naples campus soon. For more information about the Yellow Ribbon Program or about Hodges University, please call (239) 513-1122, or visit www.hodges.edu.