WAUKESHA – University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross today announced the creation of a new University of Wisconsin VETS (Veterans Education and Transition to Success) certification that will recognize campuses that demonstrate exceptional commitment to helping student veterans succeed. Cross made the announcement at an event honoring veterans on the UW-Waukesha campus.
“Thanks to a strong commitment by our Governor and the legislature, Wisconsin provides the most comprehensive veterans educational benefits in the nation,” said Cross. “The UW VETS certification process will give us the opportunity to shine a light on our institutions that are going above and beyond in serving student veterans.”
To become UW VETS certified, campuses will have to meet UW best practices as well as a series of criteria developed by the U.S. Department of Education. A panel including UW System representatives and external stakeholders will evaluate campus applications to determine eligibility for certification. The UW VETS certification will be an additional marker for student veterans and others to consider as they choose a university.
“Today’s veterans are facing significant challenges including higher than average unemployment and increased demand for mental health and other services,” said Cross, who served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. “Each institution within UW System has a responsibility to provide the services necessary for that transition to be successful. The UW VETS certification process will help us measure and focus our efforts on that front.”
“Ultimately, we hope and expect that all of our institutions will earn UW VETS certification,” Cross said.
UW System expects issue the first UW VETS certifications in the fall of 2015.
“Wisconsin has a long, proud history of ensuring that our veterans have access to a top quality education at one of Wisconsin’s public universities,” Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John A. Scocos said. “The UW VETS certification is one more way our state demonstrates its commitment to giving back to those who have served our country and earned our eternal gratitude.”