The University of Akron Wayne College’s efforts on behalf of returning military veterans seeking college educations have been honored by G.I. Jobs magazine for 2014. The ‘Military Friendly School’ designation, which places UA Wayne College in the top 20 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide, shows a commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students.
“We have over 60 veterans on our campus under the G.I. Bill this year and we’re committed to helping them succeed,” said Melissa Triplett, student services counselor and veterans certifying official for UA Wayne College.
According to veterans Tom Ewing and Diana Fick, both students at UA Wayne, the College’s efforts on their behalf have made all the difference in a successful transition to college life.
Ewing, who served in the Navy for 11 years, said the personal attention he received at UA Wayne College was excellent. “Melissa is great,” he said. “She’s always available via email and responds quickly. She also makes sure all of the forms are complete. She’s very on top of things.”
Ewing, who is working toward his Exercise Science Technology degree with the ultimate goal of earning a BSN in the field of orthopedics, said it is unfortunate more veterans don’t take advantage of the G.I. Bill. While he said it is difficult juggling college, a part-time job, and family life, the G.I. benefits make the effort worthwhile. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which can be used for up to 15 years after discharge, offers 36 months of free full- time tuition, a textbook allowance, a housing allowance and application fee waivers.
Fick, who served in the Army for over seven years before enrolling at UA Wayne College, said she wanted to add marketability to her existing bachelor’s degree in Psychology by taking a few computer classes. However, after meeting with Student Services at UA Wayne, she became aware of the many options available to her and ultimately decided to pursue an associate degree in Health Care Office Management.
Fick agreed that Wayne College is a good place for veterans to attend school, stating that the small, personal environment was comfortable for her. Like Ewing, Fick works part-time in addition to taking a full-time course load and being a parent to three children. She said she is grateful her husband works full-time to help with the financial burdens not covered by her benefits. Upon graduation, Fick’s goal is to be hired by the Veteran’s Administration in order to help other veterans.
Asked what advice she would give to local veterans thinking of going to college, Fick said she would encourage them to learn what’s available to them by talking with Melissa Triplett in the UA Wayne College Student Services Office.
“Melissa is great and her knowledge and concern for us veterans is the main reason why I chose Wayne College,” she said.
To contact Melissa Triplett in the UA Wayne College Student Services Office call 1-800-221-8308 ext. 8900.