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New program to provide aid for veterans

BY RACHEL GREEN | SEPTEMBER 04, 2014 5:00 AM

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The University of Iowa College of Education has begun to implement its I-SERVE program for this academic year.

I-SERVE — Iowa Supports Education and Resources for Veterans and Enlisted — offers resources and support for military veterans and personnel in conjunction with the Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling Program.

The program helps support veterans and military personnel in the College of Education, including those who are earning degrees or certificates in teaching, psychology, rehabilitation, leadership, counseling, and assessment.

Veterans and enlisted receive help with completing the application process, completing successful course work, and getting internships and jobs during their education and after they graduate.

“I hope that we will recruit more veterans and enlisted,” said Susan Lagos Lavenz, the associate dean of the education school. “Not only that, but we want to help them complete their education.”

The education school works closely with veteran students because of their involvement with serving their communities. Many majors in the  education school are based on serving others.

“Iowa City has a large number of individuals from the military who want to establish careers,” said Professor Vilia Tarvydas okf the Rehab Counseling Program. “I-SERVE provides resources to help the transition from a military lifestyle to an everyday lifestyle.”

For those involved, I-SERVE does not cost anything more than what students who are not in the program are paying to go to the UI. There is financial aid available in the program, and students can also use whatever financial aid is already available.

Many other forms of financial aid are available, too.

The I-SERVE program makes connections with federal loan givers in order for the veterans to take full advantage of what can be given to them.

The Troops to Teachers Program, developed by the Defense Department and managed by the Defense Activity for Nontraditional Educational Support, also offers federal loans.

The program provides up to $5,000 in stipends to veterans who wish to become elementary- or secondary-school teachers in high-poverty areas. The money goes toward their receiving of a degree or a certification.

Depending on where the student wants to teach, more stipends can be earned, especially if the veteran decides to teach in a high-need school or population.

I-SERVE and the faculty members involved in it wish to make a college education more available for veterans and enlisted as a way of giving back for their service.

“I hope we will provide enough information and support so that veterans will be attracted to the careers we offer and that they will feel fulfilled with the right career path,” Tarvydas said. “They are a group of people that go until the job is done, and they will offer more ways to serve their communities.”


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