Veterans’ transition from combat to college will now be easier, thanks to legislation authored by State Sens. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) and Allen Paul (R-Richmond). Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh (D-Crown Point) sponsored Senate Bill 115, which passed the House of Representatives recently by a vote of 96-1.
SB 115 would require state colleges and universities with at least 200 veteran students to establish a “combat to college” program, creating administrative and educational assistance for these students.
“With a high unemployment rate among young veterans returning from service, we must do everything we can to help them succeed in the workforce. Education is key to this goal,” Glick said. “Rep. VanDenburgh’s support for this bill in the House was pivotal to creating a system that will make sure our servicemen and women get support that matches the unique circumstances of veterans.”
SB 115 will require the relevant colleges and universities to implement the following policies and programs for veterans:
· A centralized location for admissions, registration and financial administration services.
· Reasonable fitness accommodations for disabled veterans.
· Academic guidance and counseling services.
· Job-search assistance.
“This program is specifically designed to help veterans seeking postsecondary education because their needs are sometimes different than other students,” Paul said. “Implementing ‘combat to college’ in institutions around the state is something we can do for these individuals who dedicated part of their lives to serving our country.”
SB 115 now heads to the governor’s desk for approval. If signed into law, the bill will be implemented on July 1.