The University of Memphis Veterans Resource Center is helping many veteran students get everything they can out of their college experience and time here at the U of M.
For many veterans, one of the challenges that they face is adjusting from the military pace to the college pace.
“Well what you have is a true culture shock,” said Thomas Graham the veteran resource coordinator at the Veteran Center. “In the Military everything is set. You know where you have to be every day,. Once you get out, you have freedom. That’s the scary part. How do you handle that freedom?”
The University of Memphis established the Veterans Resource Center in January 2014. Since establishing the Center, the U of M has seen a 60 percent increase in veteran student enrollment in on-campus and online classes. Veterans now represent more than 4 percent of the total student population.
The greatest percentage increase in veteran enrollment has occurred at the graduate level, with an increase of 136 percent from the prior two spring semester. There were 53 in 2014 and 125 in 2015. Undergraduate veteran enrollment has also made has grown as well, increasing by 51 percent or 249 students over the perverse year.
All of these veteran students receive the post 9/11 GI bill, which covers 36 months of college.
Although the pace change can be difficult to some, Timothy Hamm likes the change of pace that college provides.
“Controlling the pace is something I enjoy,” Hamm said. “I am always in control. Nothing moves unless I move.” Hamm is a 25 year old army veteran freshman.