Veteran George Curtis reflects on his experience as a college student.
The Metropolitan College at Johnson C. Smith University supports non-traditional students who want to earn a college degree. The institution is also the home of the new support hub for student veterans attending Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU).
George Curtis is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and a graduate of JCSU. Curtis considers the Student Veterans Association a helpful resource for student veterans interested in gaining higher education.
Curtis earned a degree in psychology from JCSU, as a traditional student. Curtis said, “I felt like I missed out on something by not going to college.” Curtis joined the U.S. Army as a young man and dedicated 20 years of service to the military.
When Curtis retired from the military he went back to school and earned a computer science degree from ECPI, then focused on his degree from JCSU. Curtis said,
“I also wanted to set an example for my kids, I thought if they saw me doing it at my age they would think there is no problem for them to go to college.”
Metropolitan College at JCSU is a valuable resource for veterans because it not only offers accelerated adult degree programs, but now the support for non-traditional students has been enhanced by the implementation of the veterans initiative. Currently, the Student Veterans Association is growing because of the dedication of the students leaders of the organization and the institution’s staff. The SVA did not exist while Curtis was attending JCSU, but now that it is in place, he reflects on how it can positively impact the experience of the new veteran students. “All the information you can get about benefits that will help you through school is great and you have a kind and welcoming environment, which is always good,” said Curtis. The Metropolitan College staff offers support to this population by bridging the gap between the student veterans, the administration, and the overall community on and off campus.
“When I was here I was kind of like the old man sitting in the classroom. I was that guy in class who was in the military, but didn’t have anybody that related to me,” said Curtis. However, now that the SVA is in place, veterans can count on a more welcoming environment where they can share their experiences and feel valued and heard.
“I can see this organization becoming something big and more useful because veterans are going back to school and have a lot of knowledge about life that they can pass on to someone else,” said Curtis. The immediate goal of the SVA is to work together on setting an agenda in order to address the problems that student veterans face when enrolling in college.
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