Office for Military and Veteran Students
The Office for Military and Veteran Students (OMVS) was established by Duquesne University in August of 2015. Although the University has been working closely with the military and veteran student (MVS) population for years, this was the University’s first opportunity to create a standalone office and Director—retired Air Force Lt. Col. Don Accamando—to help meet the needs of this non-traditional student community.
The Office supports MVS by fostering a learning environment where they can build upon their life experiences and be accepted for who they are, while providing them with an opportunity to earn a distinctive Duquesne education for the mind, heart and spirit.
There are approximately 215 MVS attending Duquesne. At least one MVS is enrolled in each of the University’s nine schools. We provide a variety of options for them to study, including accelerated degrees online. Liberal Arts, Nursing, Business and Education are the most popular degree programs for MVS.
Duquesne’s programs for veterans are nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report and a number of publications and web sites serving the military community.
In 2014, the Duquesne University School of Nursing was awarded a three-year $913,043 Federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to support a Veterans to Bachelors of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program. This new national initiative supports educational and employment opportunities for military veterans, Reservists, National Guard and active duty members.
Duquesne’s program is specially-tailored to meet the needs and expectations of veterans. Recognizing that many veterans prefer to seek help and guidance from other veterans, for example, the School recruited an academic coach, advisor and recruiter with military experience. Duquesne’s program serves as a model for other schools that are developing military-friendly programs of their own.
In 2016, a $7,000 grant from the Student Veterans Association of American and Home Depot enabled the renovation of a Military and Veteran Student Center adjacent to the Office for Military and Veteran Services in Libermann Hall.
Funding opportunities are available at many giving levels to improve these initiatives and facilities, and to enhance other vital aspects of Duquesne’s MVS efforts.
Scholarships and Resource Funds: Since its founding in 1878, Duquesne University has pursued a vision that no worthy student should ever be turned away for lack of ability to pay. This commitment extends to our MVS students. Duquesne participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and helps MVS students to take full advantage of their federal benefits, but many students still require additional assistance. Establishment of new endowed scholarships and resource funds—and contributions to enhance existing funds—will help ensure that all MVS students at Duquesne receive the support they need for tuition and other academic expenses.
Student Services: OMVS provides a number of specialized services to its military and veteran students, including personalized assistance with VA certification, admissions, financial aid and registration procedures, arrangements for VA workstudy, and a Student Veterans of America chapter. Funds may be established to sustain and support staffing and professional development of these dedicated personnel.
University-Wide Initiatives: Duquesne’s commitment to military and veteran students extends far beyond OMVS. Units across campus— including the Psychology Department’s Military Services Clinic, Counseling and Wellness Center, Army ROTC, the Veterans Law Clinic, Gumberg Library, Career Services and Commuter Affairs all play a role in our comprehensive approach. Donors are welcome to support any of these departments with a designation to military initiatives.
Events for Veterans: OMVS organizes or participates in a wide variety of events throughout the year, including:
• Veterans’ Week events, including the largest Veterans’ Day breakfast in Pennsylvania, attracting nearly 700 attendees annually
• Reunion and Prayer Service during Homecoming
• Military appreciation at football and basketball games
• A veterans’ literary society
• Career skills and networking events
Donors may help to sustain these events or develop new initiatives, such as a Veterans’ Oral History Project.
Marketing and Recruitment: As the marketplace for military-friendly education becomes increasingly competitive, OMVS seeks support for a dedicated Marketing and Recruitment endowment to better publicize Duquesne’s programs and services.
Other Ways to Help: In addition to monetary gifts, alumni and friends are encouraged to invest their time and talents in MVS programs at Duquesne. Volunteer opportunities include assistance in recruiting, training and mentoring students, and service on Duquesne’s Veterans’ Advisory Board. For more information about how to get personally involved, please contact Don Accamando, Director of OMVS, at 412.396.5366.