ECU recognized for supporting student veterans

East Carolina University has once again been ranked as a top university for U.S. veterans and military service members.

ECU’s 2019 field of honor recognized veterans. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

ECU is ranked 47th in the Southeast in the 2021 Military Times Best for Vets schools released in June. ECU has been included several times since the annual ranking was created 10 years ago as a resource for veterans to help with their educational decisions.

“Student veterans bring a wealth of positive attributes to the campus community,” said Nicole Messina, associate director of ECU Student Veteran Services. “These students are hard workers and disciplined leaders, driven to succeed even in the face of adversity. In addition, student veterans are global citizens, many of whom have experienced a variety of cultures around the world. These diverse life experiences provide a different voice in the classroom and improve the learning experience.”

ECU is the only four-year university in North Carolina and one of 104 U.S. schools with a VetSuccess on Campus counselor, who is supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to help student veterans transition from the military to college life.

ECU also has a veteran-specific orientation and COAD 1000 seminar, mentoring programs, and a Veteran Leadership Academy. The university offers a Veteran to Scholar Boot Camp — an intensive two-week program that helps integrate veterans to university life. The National Endowment for the Humanities funds the program.

The Student Veteran Service office, on the second floor of the Mendenhall Building, plays a vital role in making ECU’s campus welcoming for veterans and service members.

“We encourage our student veterans to immerse themselves in the campus climate to reduce issues that can occur due to isolation,” Messina said. “We also are fortunate to have several scholarships and emergency funds due to some very generous donors.”