The university’s programs and organizations are helping student veterans successfully make that adjustment, resulting in a strong graduation rate of 65 percent. Here are two key programs to steer vets toward the help they need.
Military & Veterans Services Center
Established in 2012 as the Office of Veteran Services, the Military & Veteran Services Center aims to serve UNLV’s 1,800 vets on campus, up from just 300 in 2009. One of the most important things center and the Rebel Vets are doing on campus is challenging long-held beliefs and stereotypes about post-traumatic stress disorder, military service, and veterans.
UNLV is ranked 36th in the nation by Military Times for campuses that are “Best for Vets”
“Every veteran returning from the war struggles with two transitions: a transition of purpose and a transition of community,” said Ross Bryant, director of the Military & Veteran Services Center.
The center, the Rebel Vets and Rebel Women Vets organizations are fostering a strong community, he said. “All provide a welcoming environment where we can provide (students) a sense of purpose, a connection to the veteran community, and an opportunity to build their ideal life.”
The Disability Resource Center
UNLV is proud of being the most diverse campus in the country. But diversity has many components, reminds Bryan Hilbert, director of the Disability Resource Center. He aims to see neurodiversity and disability recognized as an important dimension of our campus culture.
His ambition is to further diversity through access at UNLV, as his team serves as a clearinghouse to connect students with resources that help them succeed. The Disability Resource Center serves more than 1,100 students; of which about 10 percent are veterans.
The center helps provide extended time for exams and providing a distraction-reduced environment for students. It also provides “follow-along” services (regular meetings to help a student adjust to campus).
“All students are required to do the same work for their degrees and some use accommodations,” Hilbert said. “Once students connect with us, they start to realize that when support is in place you can see yourself succeed. College does not have to be impossibly difficult.
“The challenge is not so much which door to open, but to realize that there is a door."