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Greater Challenges

Ferris, Forbes help to veterans transition to college life

by Published: Sep 11, 2013

Education after Service: Adam Forbes, Ferris’ veterans program specialist, helps student veterans transition for the military to college life. Courtesy Photo By: FSU Photographic Services

Education after Service: Adam Forbes, Ferris’ veterans program specialist, helps student veterans transition for the military to college life. Courtesy Photo By: FSU Photographic Services

Military veterans face greater challenges when returning to school than the traditional student.

Thankfully, Ferris is here to help.

Often times veterans are older, have a different attitude about school and are used to a set schedule, according to Adam Forbes, veterans program specialist at Ferris.

“They recognize that this is just the next step and they want to just get through it and get the job done,” Forbes said.

Back in 2010, Ferris State was honored as a military-friendly university by GI jobs, placing them among the top 15 percent nationwide. It still holds this honor in 2013.

Ferris offers numerous benefits and help to veterans on campus. There is a military veterans grant, someone available to assist veterans at all times, a veterans resource room and even a registered student organization. Veterans also have the opportunity to get ahead in school with free CLEP tests and free credits based on their job in the military.

Ferris senior information security and intelligence student and veteran of six year active duty in the U.S. Navy Nick Galloway commends Ferris for being military-friendly.

“Our Veterans’ Advocate, Adam Forbes, is the best in the state. He is always there to make sure our veterans are being taken care of,” Galloway said. “[Ferris] understands and accommodates the disabilities of all of their students, but has special people in place specifically for service-related disabilities.  Ferris also has a scholarship for our returning vets.”  

One project that is still in the works is the “Patriot Express” program being instilled in the criminal justice department. Veterans will be able to gain credits based on their military experience to cut the program from 48 months to 30.

Galloway is also the president of the Ferris State University Student Veterans Association. The organization’s mission is to bring attention to veterans on campus as well as help their fellow comrades in arms. The group also does significant fundraising to help military charities, such as the Wounded Warrior Project.

Many veterans have been flocking to universities since the post 9/11 GI Bill went into effect. Not all schools were ready for the growing numbers of veterans, however. Galloway recognizes the challenges veterans face when entering school.

“Some of our vets face difficulties adjusting to such an unstructured lifestyle that colleges can produce,” he said. “We also can have difficulties making friends outside of our ranks because in some cases we feel like we have little in common with the other students.”

There have not been any statistics released about job placement for veterans upon graduation. Forbes explained it differently.

“Ferris doesn’t really place students in jobs. They give you the skills to find a job on your own,” he said. “Thankfully, Ferris provides extra help and benefits to veterans returning to school to make their transition just a little easier.” ///