Midlands Technical College has opened its Veterans Success Center. The campus hub provides an array of resources and support for students who are military veterans, and those still serving in the military, as well as their dependents.
In addition to providing a physical space at Midlands Tech’s Beltline Campus where students can gather, the center serves as an on-ramp to navigating and accessing military-related education benefits.
The center, which is the first of its kind in South Carolina, will also be the home for the college’s VetSuccess on Campus counselor.
“Veteran centers on college campuses make a positive impact on student veteran success,” Midlands Tech President Ronald L. Rhames said at Thursday’s grand opening ceremony. “Since many veterans commute to school, have jobs, or juggle other responsibilities, having a place on campus to connect with other veterans and resources can be instrumental.”
Midlands Tech is the largest provider of veterans’ educational benefits to service members and their families in South Carolina. More than 1,000 veterans are enrolled annually in classes at the college. Midlands Tech is the only college in South Carolina designated as a VetSuccess on Campus Center by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs and one of 94 centers at U.S. college campuses, according to the VA.
“Walking onto a college campus after leaving the military can be a disorienting experience for student veterans,” Rhames said. “This center is not only a relaxed area for veterans to network, but it also is a hub for services including information on veterans’ education benefits, employment information and assistance, and referrals to community resources.”
The Student Veterans of America and The Home Depot Foundation awarded MTC nearly $9,000 as part of a Vet Center Initiative grant to help MTC create the Veterans Success Center. Midlands Technical College was one of only 50 colleges nationwide awarded funding for such a project.
All of MTC’s academic degrees, diplomas, and certificates, and 23 Corporate and Continuing Education programs are approved for veterans’ educational benefits. MTC hosts a Military Services Office where a member of the Army National Guard provides information about military programs and educational benefits to prospective and current MTC students, and assists military personnel and their families transition into higher education.
“We very much believe that continued education and higher education along many paths is absolutely important to the health of the Army community,” said Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson, “but it also really continues to set our veteran teammates up for success as they go on whatever path they have chosen.”