Earlier this year, the Utah State Legislature passed SB 68, Veterans Centers. This legislation requires the Board of Regents to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of providing a veterans “walk-in center or services at each institution of higher education.” Staff at the Commissioner’s office worked with the Chief Student Services Officers, veterans services personnel, budget officers and others at each institution in the Utah system to conduct the feasibility study. The study was presented to the Board of Regents during its September 26 meeting.
Services assessed were divided into the following categories:
Level 1: Veterans Support Staff
Institution assigns full-time staff member(s) the responsibility to provide services to veterans. These staff members have other responsibilities assigned to them outside of their responsibilities to veterans.
Level 2: Dedicated Veterans Support Office
Institution has at least one position assigned to provide services to veterans on a full-time basis.
Level 3: Veterans Services Center
Institution has at least one position assigned to provide services to veterans on a full-time basis and offer expanded services for veterans that serve a variety of veteran needs.
Level 4: Veterans Services with Walk-in Veterans Center
Institution has at least one position assigned to provide services to veterans on a full-time basis, offer expanded services for veterans that serve a variety of veteran needs, and provides dedicated space for use by veterans. A walk-in veterans center typically requires additional space and expanded staffing beyond Level 3 services.
Different levels of veterans services are recommended based on the number of enrolled veterans an institution has:
Level 1: Fewer than 50 enrolled veterans
Level 2: 50 – 249 enrolled veterans
Level 3: 250 – 449 enrolled veterans
Level 4: 450 or more enrolled veterans
Using these criteria, the following table illustrates the current and recommended service levels for veterans:
|Institution||Est. enrolled veterans Fall 2013||Current self-identified service level||Recommended service level, based on proposed criteria|
|U of U||915||4||4|
A detailed breakdown of services offered and/or recommended for each institution is available here.
In order to make these recommendations a reality, $184,440 in one-time and $864,655 in ongoing legislative funding is required. (More information on cost breakdowns here.)
The Board of Regents accepted this report at the September 26th meeting, and requested USHE institutions provide an annual report with summary information of veterans served, as well as establish a notification process regarding veterans services provided when students apply for admission.