To participate in the VPM Program, apply online by completing the application for mentor at utc.edu/vpm-mentor or for mentee at utc.edu/vpm-mentee. If you need assistance, please contact Veteran Student Services by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 423-425-5832.
Readjusting to civilian life after a stint in the military can be hard enough for some veterans. Add college to the mix and it can get even harder.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Veteran Peer Mentorship Program is here to help.
Starting fall semester, the UTC Veteran Student Services will launch the Veteran Peer Mentorship Program. The program is part of statewide efforts from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Veteran Reconnect to “assist veterans and service members attain college degrees and workforce training,” said Squoia Holmes, assistant director of Veteran Student Services and coordinator for the Veteran Peer Mentorship Program, which is part of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Veteran Reconnect program.
“UTC Veteran Student Services recognizes that student veterans have experiences which set them apart in many ways from their non-veteran peers on campus.
“Transitioning from the military to a college environment, they may feel a sense of loss of a tribe, of people that understand what it means to have served this country,” she said.
“The power and positive influence of peer to peer veteran support will give incoming and current student veterans a mentor that will act as a trusted guide while they are in the program, increase student connection and satisfaction, resource usage and promote academic success,” she added.
Veteran mentors will be paired with three to four student veterans each semester, Holmes said.
“The VPM Program focuses on four overarching goals: (1) the power and positive influence of peer to peer veteran support; (2) a veteran specific orientation program; (3) increased education and usage of on and off campus resources; and (4) academic tracking/case management,” she said. “The program will bring these disparate elements into one cohesive program that will work to enhance the holistic support we provide to our student veterans.
“The implementation of the Veteran Peer Mentorship Program expands Veteran Student Services’ mission of offering tools—social and educational programs, unique study spaces, guidance, information and referrals—to help students succeed, in and out of the classroom,” Holmes said.