New veteran benefits program to begin Fall 2019

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Joshua Rider, the director of Kent State’s Center for Adult and Veteran Services. 

Jill Golden

A financial and career benefits program for Kent State veteran and service member students called the Veterans Career Initiative will begin this fall.

Overseen by the Center for Adult and Veteran Services, the initiative will provide 10 selected students with access to financial benefits, career support services and additional necessary items to help with their future careers.

“The goal is to provide career readiness for our Kent State student veterans and service members,” said Joshua Rider, the director of Kent State’s Center for Adult and Veteran Services. “Also, to provide them direct access to veteran friendly employers and hiring strategies.”

The program will include professional mentorships, internship opportunities, direct links to military friendly employers, speed interviewing sessions and access to motivational speakers.

“There will be some financial supports that will go along with it, like a stipend to job shadow upon successful completion of the program and a stipend for professional clothing,” Rider said.

Social media usage and resume building will also be discussed during the program, such as how to incorporate military experience on a resume and how to properly use LinkedIn and handle a social media presence.

In order to be one of the 10 students selected for the program, students will need to fill out an application that will then be reviewed by the Center for Adult and Veteran Services.

The application will be composed of questions, such as how many hours students work per week, their career goals, class standing, what they hope to get out of the program and some basic demographic information, Rider said.

“It’s going to be competitive because there’s 10 slots and there’s some financial benefits to it, so I expect to get a lot of applications,” Rider said.

Rider estimates about 600 students will compete for a seat in this program, which is also the number of veterans and service member students he estimates Kent State has.

The 10 students selected will meet at least one day each month in September, October, November, February, March and April.

The program lasts a full school year, and students will receive one credit hour upon completion during the spring semester. There will also be a final graduation.

This career initiative has been made possible because of a donation received by the Division of Student Affairs. The donors provided career and financial assistance for Kent State veterans and service members.

The University Library and Career Exploration and Development will be providing curriculum for the program. The two are also partners in the planning and implementation, and CED is contributing financially, as well.

More information about the Veterans Career Initiative will be posted on the Center for Adult and Veteran Services homepage in early April.

Jill Golden covers non-traditional, ROTC and veterans. Contact her at [email protected]