Assistant Dean of Students
Pomona, New Jersey 08240
609-652-4315 office Tom.Odonnell@stockton.edu
Stockton University launched a comprehensive outreach agenda for student veterans in the spring of 2009. A highlight of this initiative is in their "Veteran In-State Tuition at Stockton" or VISTAS program -- the first of its kind in New Jersey -- offering in-state tuition for veterans of the Armed Services. Stockton has also recently joined the VA's "Yellow Ribbon Program" to further enhance affordability options.
In April 2009, Stockton hosted a full-day workshop for servicemembers and student veterans to assist other campuses in the development of military-friendly programs and services. The event, which included over 100 participants, helped set the stage for the Operation College Promise project.
"We are ready to assist veterans to transition from the military to their college education goals," said Stockton University President, Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr., who highlighted the school's commitment to veterans by acknowledging those graduating with honor cords. This commitment continues to evolve with a number of innovative benefits for servicemembers, both active and retired.
Stockton students continue to spearhead activities to support their peers. The Student Veterans Organization (SVO) charged with "supporting veterans by encouraging a broadening of their self-image and by encouraging lifestyle management principles that contribute to success with their academic, community, spiritual and emotional needs." The group is now taking the lead in mentoring other institutions of higher learning as they form similar on-campus groups for servicemember students.
Stockton has also recently completed and opened a Student Veterans Lounge to provide a common location for veterans to meet, study, and socialize. The initiative was based on national research that demonstrated the positive implications of offering this resource and has been designed with the input and recommendations of student veterans on campus.
The Office of Veteran Affairs has created its own newsletter, The Scholar Veteran. It is currently in the process of developing a Veteran Support Team which will consist of staff from the Office of Veteran Affairs, Financial Aid, Stockton's Career Center, Academic Advising, Counseling/Health Services, and Admissions.
The Office of Veteran Affairs is in the process of developing a mentoring program for our student veterans in need of a little extra guidance. The mentors will be other student veterans at Stockton.
The Stockton University community received the following Certificate of Appreciation for their contribution to the welfare and morale of our soldiers in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This certificate was addressed to student, Jennifer Blankley, for her coordination of the Boxes of Love Project that sends care packages and cards to our troops.