Dog Tags To Desk Tops Program Helps Veterans Transition To New Life
When members of our nation’s military leave active duty, they often ask one critical question: “What should I do with the rest of my life?”
Keystone’s College’s Dog Tags to Desk Tops program is designed specifically to help local veterans find an answer to that all-important inquiry. The goal of Dog Tags to Desk Tops is to inform and advise local veterans on how they can best use the benefits they have accrued under their GI-Bill to help plan for and lead a productive and meaningful life.
“Many veterans are not sure exactly where they fit in after leaving military service,” says Wendy Kramer, coordinator of Veterans Services at KeystoneCollege. “Often, veterans simply have a lack of knowledge as to what types of benefits and services are available to them, particularly regarding higher education, and how they might use those benefits to further their education or pursue a successful career. Our goal is to help them to be successful in whatever way they define success.”
The Dog Tags to Desk Tops program is made possible through statewide grant support from Pennsylvania Campus Compact (PACC) and AmeriCorps VISTA. PACC/VISTA members work to bridge campus and community through projects in the areas of tutoring and mentoring, food access, and college access.
Ms. Kramer says census information indicates there are over 13,000 veterans in Bradford, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties. Dog Tags to Desk Tops targets those specific counties to inform local veterans that higher education and additional skills may help them improve their career outlook.
She notes that Keystone is particularly suited to helping veterans explore their opportunities. Because of its small size (approximately 1,600 students in La Plume and Towanda, Pa.), Keystone has the ability to offer a strong support system for veterans. That support includes a peer mentoring program which enables current veteran students to meet with incoming veteran freshmen to discuss academic issues and challenges.
“Returning to the classroom can be difficult for some veterans because they might have different needs and concerns than younger students. We offer a variety of support and one-on-one counseling to help meet their specific needs.”
Keystone has been recognized by three national publications - U.S. News and World Report, GI Jobs Magazine, and Advanced Military Education Magazine - as one of the top colleges in the nation in serving veterans and current military members.
“Our soldiers and veterans support our country each and every day. At Keystone, we’re proud to do everything we can to support them as they pursue the next important steps in their lives.”
Keystone offers over 40 degree options in liberal arts based programs in business, communications, education, fine arts, natural science, environmental resource management, geology and social sciences. Located in La Plume and Towanda, Pa., Keystone is known for small class sizes and individual attention focused on student success through internships, research, and community involvement.