The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, an operation of the state government, has again given gold-level status to Ferris State University’s programming designed to assist students with military service backgrounds.
The MVAA affords top honors to academic institutions or training facilities that achieve at least six of seven criteria for veteran-friendly schools. Ferris is among more than three dozen schools that qualify by offering attributes such as an on-campus veteran’s coordinator, having specific scholarships and grants for those who served in a military branch and providing a veteran’s lounge. Ferris’ program meets all seven of the agency’s qualifying criteria.
Assistant Director of Veterans Services Jacob Schrot said that COVID-19 challenged Ferris’ efforts. However, despite the challenges, the program continued to serve Ferris student veterans.
“It is great to be recognized by the state for the services we provide to student veterans,” Schrot said. “We are happy to again receive gold-level status and take seriously our opportunity to serve and support these students.”
Schrot said going away from a campus-based support model in 2020 to promote health and safety presented challenges.
“It is my experience that veterans are most comfortable with making office visits to have a conversation or submit a request for support,” Schrot said. “We made sure in our area to keep up on the necessary paperwork and data gathering, with some minor procedural gain coming about, as we shifted to providing services through virtual means, for more than a year.”
More than 60 institutions across Michigan make up the Veteran Friendly Schools roster online.