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Veterans Commission Recognizes 17 Texas Colleges


Ann Theodori, David Salgado, Fernando Chavez, Megan St. Vigne | Images by Sam Houston State University

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The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) has awarded 17 higher education institutions in Texas the 2022 Veteran Education Excellence Recognition Award.

This honor by the Veterans Education Program was established as a way to award colleges and universities that have proven to show significant commitment to military-connected students and veterans.

The three levels of recognition from the TVC are gold, silver, and bronze. The Gold Award was presented to the following 15 institutions:

  1. Angelo State University
  2. Collin College
  3. Northeast Lakeview College
  4. Palo Alto College
  5. St. Philip’s College
  6. Sam Houston State University
  7. San Antonio College
  8. South Texas College
  9. Texas A&M – College Station
  10. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi
  11. Texas A&M University – San Antonio
  12. Texas State University
  13. University of North Texas
  14. University of Texas Arlington
  15. University of Texas Dallas

For 2022, Texas A&M – Texarkana received the only Silver Award, and Del Mar College in Corpus Christi received the only Bronze Award.

The commission evaluated applicants on “a variety of criteria that highlight the various education and ancillary services offered by an institution and contribute to the overall success of veteran students and their families.”

These include:

  1. a centralized place for students who are veterans to meet or find assistance or information.
  2. an institution employee who serves as a central point of contact for students who are veterans.
  3. a United States Department of Veterans Affairs work-study program, admissions, and enrollment policies for veterans.

Laura Koerner, a Navy veteran and the TVC chairwoman, expressed in the press release, “We thank these colleges and universities for supporting their Texas veterans and military-connected students to have a successful transition from their military service and achieve their academic and career goals.”

Colleges and universities can apply for recognition yearly by submitting an application packet with all required materials.

“Texas colleges and universities across the state have dedicated world-class resources and educators to support our brave veterans as they pursue opportunities in higher education,” Governor Greg Abbott shared in the press release.

He mentioned that these institutions also offer veterans “housing, support and career services, mental health and disability services, and more.”

The director of Sam Houston State University’s Veterans Resource Center, Fernando Chavez, stated on the SHSU website that the recognition shows how far the campus, state, and country have come.

“Fifteen years ago, there were just a small handful of veterans resource centers on college campuses throughout the nation,” Chavez said. “Now, if you look at any university, it’s there.”

Chavez credits the Sam Houston State University system, the president’s office, and campus-wide leadership for recognizing that “the need was there to better assist our students as they navigate higher education.”

Chavez, who also served in the U.S. Navy, added, “It all starts from the top and their commitment.”

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