Ranked as the eighth-best college for veterans and military students in the United States by College Consensus in May, Ohio State aims to assist these groups in pursuing academic success and exploring a variety of career options.
“We feel it’s in the best interest of Ohio State to put processes in place and make it easier for veteran and military members to go to school,” said Michael Forrest, director of the Office of Military and Veteran Services. “The bottom line for us is we want them to be academically successful.”
Forrest said military students between 26 and 28 years old have trouble keeping up in school after returning from the Army.
“They may not have been in a class since high school, so getting used to just being back in the classroom and then being around people who are younger and sometimes, in that process, you feel behind because you have never been doing it,” Forrest said.
One way staff members have helped them overcome this obstacle is by offering tutoring in math, physics and English.
“It’s one of the biggest things that I love about Ohio State,” said Gano Patel, a second-year in welding engineering who has a three-year contract left with Air National Guard.
Along with catch-up classes, the Office of Military and Veterans Service hosts exclusive recreational events for military students, so they can feel create a community and build connections with each other.
Patel said a lot of his friends at other universities have no one to talk to and there is no one telling them what they need to be doing, which would never happen in the military.
“That’s why many of my friends feel lost and out of place after returning to civilian life,” Patel said.
Compared with his friends’ experiences, Patel said he realized how many resources are available to him at Ohio State, such as having someone check with him on problems that might discourage or hold him back.
He said he takes part in the Community Advocates program, furthering his service for Ohio State and helping fellow veterans overcome adverse circumstances and move forward with their education.
The Office of Military and Veterans Services will send out a survey in October to collect feedback from veteran students about possible improvements to current services offered at Ohio State.
“We are not resting on it, but always trying for different things,” Forrest said.