KSU Eases Veteran Transition to College

Updated: Monday, 26 Sep 2011, 6:42 AM EDT Published : Monday, 26 Sep 2011, 6:34 AM EDT By MARC…

Georgia (Sep 26, 2011) — Updated: Monday, 26 Sep 2011, 6:42 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 26 Sep 2011, 6:34 AM EDT


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By MARC TEICHNER/myfoxatlanta

KENNESAW, Ga. - The sluggish economy coupled with the new GI Bill has led to an explosion in veterans heading back to college.

At Kennesaw State, they've seen the veteran student population nearly double in the last couple of years.

So the school is taking steps to ease their transition into college.

KSU's veteran support network was started by the college's veteran students but the school saw a need and ended up backing the effort with money, resources and leadership.

They've served their country and now they are back state-side, moving into the next phase of their lives.

Kennesaw State is trying to ease that transition for it's veteran students.

Welcome to KSU's Veterans Resource Center -- a one stop shop for veterans helping to guide them through the educational system.

"They can come here and we're going to take care of every need that they have," said veteran and KSU student Donna Flippen.

"This is a place where we can hang out and talk, we can do homework," said veteran and KSU student John Breckenridge.

John Breckenridge served on a sub fleet in the navy and helped set up the center. He says the center is a place where veterans can gather with other veterans.

"You feel like you have a home. You're not just wondering around in between classes wondering what am I going to do, whatever," said Breckenridge.

The center was originally student driven but a year ago FSU hired Frank Wills to run the place, making it the first college funded veteran center in the state.

"About two years ago KSU realized there a unique need to serve veterans coming back into school. There are specific challenges that they have that normal students aren't aware of," said Frank Wills of the KSU Veterans Resource Center.

But the center is just the beginning of KSU's commitment to its veteran community. There's also a designated veteran member of the student senate and veteran club, which helps builds social ties.

"I didn't know but a couple people when I got here. If it wasn't for the Veterans Club, I won't know anybody at school," said veteran and KSU student Steven Sayegh.

A national magazine even named KSU one of the most military friendly colleges in the nation.

"Veterans can always spot a veteran," said veteran and KSU student Davis Carper.

David Carper served nine years in the Army, including a tour in Iraq. He says the steps taken by KSU have definitely improved his college experience.

"I've made a wealth of connections. I know hundreds of people on this campus because of this center," said Carper.

KSU gets calls from colleges all over the country looking for advice about setting up veteran centers. While Kennesaw was the first, officials say there are now three of them in Georgia with more expected in the future.


Please click on the link below to watch the Veterans Resource Center stories that aired throughout Sept. 26 on Fox 5, WAGA-TV:



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu