Education

UNC will do more to help active-duty military, vets get degrees

Posted May 20, 2015

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— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill unveiled Wednesday two initiatives to help military personnel and veterans navigate the higher education process.

UNC Core, which will stretch across the 16-campus university system, is designed to make sure active-duty military in North Carolina can take core college courses online.

"If you cannot come to Chapel Hill, if you can't be present on this campus, we are going to take our research, our advising, our faculty to you, and it doesn't matter where you are," said Robert Bruce, director of the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

Stephanie Henry, a UNC-Chapel Hill student who was called to active duty after 9/11, served as the inspiration for the program, Bruce said.

Henry had to withdraw from school and didn't graduate in May 2002 as planned, but she said she was determined to do what she could to continue her education.

"I was able to take a couple of core courses that helped me further my education toward getting my degree," Henry, who eventually graduated, said Wednesday.

"We're going to make it easier for people like her," Bruce said.

As a part of UNC Core, campuses are adding academic advisers, creating customized enrollment and will work with military bases directly. UNC-Chapel Hill has already set up a website where students can map out their academic plan.

The second initiative, the Student Veteran Assistance Program, will serve as a liaison for veterans to help make their educational experience positive, officials said. The university hopes to hire a program director by this summer.

"This position will be the glue connecting student veterans to a network of support in every arena of campus life," Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp said.

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