May 14, 2024

Missouri Western helping veterans and military members adjust to normal life

Posted May 14, 2024 5:00 PM


St. Joseph Post

Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph works to help military students adjust to life outside of the military through the Center for Military and Veteran Services.

Center director Chelsey Clark says the center helps military connected students and potential military students

"Navigate everything in their education career, everything from those benefits to finding a community to just having an actual physical space that is for them and that is their own," Clark tells KFEQ Hotline host Barry Birr.

Missouri Western had about 300 military connected students on campus using the center.

The Center for Military and Veteran Services on the St. Joseph campus was established in 2020 to provide assistance to military connected students.

Clark says knowing what benefits are available to students can be difficult, but at Missouri Western they work to make it as easy as possible to navigate

"Especially because a lot of students come to me and they don't even know what they qualify for, so I help them, I'll sit with them, we'll go through the VA together or maybe in the national guard, so I help them with those benefits," Clark explains.

"Whatever it is I'll sit down with them and explain it to them in my opinion in a way that makes sense, and make sure that when they leave my office, they don't have any more questions."

Clark says her office is a one stop shop to ensure students find all benefits available to them, and after that she works to ensure students are taken care of.

Clark says she often sees challenges in the adjustment in veterans and older active service members

"It is a challenge to go from this very structured, very sometimes black and white world of the military to a much more flexible, much more gray, much less structured civilian life," Clark points out. "And the education system is even more so."

Two separate organizations honored Western this past fall. Missouri Western earned a Military Friendly School gold designation and was named to the Military Times Best for Vets: colleges list.

It's the second consecutive year Missouri Western earned the honors, which must be applied for every year.

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