Military Community

April 2016-Ashford University Newsletter

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Military Development and Engagement

The Military Community Newsletter at Ashford University was designed as a way for you to learn and share community events, resources, and key topics relevant to service members, veterans, and their families nationwide. Please contact Ashford's Military Development and Engagement Specialist if you have questions or additional resources you would like to share with your fellow military community.


  • SVO is seeking new board members
  • Free Tax Services Available to Military Members, Families

  • April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  • Hire Heroes USA
  • Military VS College Academics
  • 311VET: New app answers general VA benefits questions
  • Transition Intelligence Dashboard
  • Office of Student Access and Wellness at Ashford
  • 13 of VA’s top links for Veteran Services
  • CHAMPS Peer Mentoring Program
  • Previous Editions
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SVO is Seeking New Board Members

A change of command in the Student Veterans Organization (“SVO”) is upon us. Join Ashford's SVO to get connected to other military affiliated students. Please see Featured Post on the page about applying for a board position.

The mission of Ashford University’s Student Veteran’s Organization (SVO) is for military and veteran students and alumni to assist active duty and veteran students with their educational goals through mentoring, tutoring, professional networking, and support with their job search. The SVO supports the unique needs of service members and their families, encourages persistence by celebrating accomplishments, and motivates military students and their dependents to achieve personal, professional, and educational goals

Enroll now and start networking.

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Free Tax Services Available to Military Members, Families

Deadline to file taxes is coming up this month. The Defense Department wants service members and their families to know they can get free tax consultations and tax-filing software through Military One Source!

Find out more here

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses the term “military sexual trauma” or “MST” to refer to sexual assault or sexual harassment during military service and has services available to assist Veterans in their recovery from MST.

  • Veterans can receive free treatment for mental and physical health conditions related to their experiences of MST at every VA medical facility. Veterans do not need to have documentation of their experiences and may be able to receive care even if they are not eligible for other VA services.
  • Veterans can apply for disability compensation for any current difficulties that are related to their service, including difficulties related to MST.

For more information

  • For help with health care and treatment related to MST, please contact your local VA medical center and ask to speak to the MST Coordinator.
For help with disability compensation related to MST, please contact the MST Coordinator at your local Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Office
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Hire Heroes USA empowers U.S. military members, veterans, and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Hire Heroes USA has built a national reputation of excellence for helping veterans find jobs.

Find out how Hire Heroes USA has been helping veterans transition from combat to careers:

Be sure to visit the Hire Heroes USA website to learn more about the good work that they do!

Military VS College Academics

Military vs College Academics
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311VET: New app answers general VA benefits questions

311VET is VBA’s new benefits app, and it provides helpful information about veterans benefits, including: what benefits you may be entitled to, how to apply for benefits, how different benefits are defined, and where to go to get more information about VA services. 311VET can provide information about most VA benefits, including pension, education, health, disability, loan, burial, and career benefits.

While 311VET can’t answer questions about the status of specific claims (use Inquiry Routing & Information System (“IRIS”) for that) or other questions that require personally identifying information (“PII”) or protected health information (“PHI”), you can learn more about VA benefits by visiting the 311VET website.

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Transition Intelligence Dashboard

"Transition Intelligence Dashboard" ("TID") is a tool that was created (by and allows users to view answers to the most common military-to-civilian transition questions from those who’ve gone before them.

This interactive capability allows users to view customized information based upon their military branch, rank, years of service, education level, specialty, age, and gender.

The goal is for 100,000 former service members to answer an anonymous survey from which the dashboard shares personalized data to help guide transition-related decisions.

Participation is currently below the goal. If you have made the transition and would like to provide feedback click the link below. Or if you are making the transition yourself and would like to see the results check it out.

Transition Intelligence Dashboard

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Effectively supporting military and veteran students has emerged as an unmistakable focus as higher education responds to the needs of a dynamic student demographic. With the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and various other combat-related injuries, the need to support our military students as they transition to higher education cannot be ignored. Within the Office of Student Access and Wellness, staff work closely with disabled military and veteran students to tailor their educational experience to their needs and the challenges they may face.

The Office of Student Access and Wellness provides support services for students with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. Through accessible educational programs, disability-related advocacy, faculty and staff education, and an enhanced awareness of individual abilities and contributions, Access and Wellness ensures students participating in the online modality have an equal opportunity for success.

Through the use of innovative technology and individualized resiliency coaching, military students are equipped with the tools to achieve success where barriers might otherwise exist. Additionally, policies and practices are in place within the university that honor and acknowledge the unique service, deployment and familial factors associated with the military family.

While the wounds of war may often be invisible, the Office of Student Access and Wellness is equipped to recognize and support around factors that might otherwise hinder a student’s opportunity for success, and helps to guide students towards academic success and beyond!

Written by: ASHLEY KIRWAN, MA / LEAD VETERAN ACCESS & WELLNESS COUNSELOR, Office of Student Access and Wellness Ashford University

Find out more, or apply for accommodations

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13 of VA’s top links for Veteran Services

The Department of Veteran Affairs put together a comprehensive list of the top 13 VA health support services listed on one document to maintain your physical and mental wellness. Click here to download the document and print out for easy access.

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CHAMPS Peer Mentoring for Online Students

Ashford’s Collaborative, Holistic, Academic Mentoring for Peer Success (“CHAMPS”) program matches high achieving, upper-division students (Mentors) with new students (Mentees).

Mission Statement

The mission of CHAMPS is to promote success by providing support and guidance and being positive role models for new students. The program will also provide leadership development opportunities and transferable skills to high-achieving, upper-division students serving as student mentors.

Let us know if you’re interested in being a mentor or a mentee. The Ashford staff will then pair you with a mentor/mentee. Each mentor and mentee will meet at least once per week through the method they choose to discuss the transition into Ashford University. The program will last 7 weeks, but it is our hope that our mentors and mentees build relationships that last well beyond the end of the program!

* The newsletter may contain now or in the future links to other websites, such as links to military charities, discounts or offers, or other third parties that may provide services or products to you. These links and this information is being provided to you for your convenience and as a resource. We are not responsible for the privacy practices, the content of, or any other actions of such other websites or their owners or operators, information they may collect or information they may share. Ashford University cannot guarantee employment. Further, the inclusion of an organization on this newsletter does not indicate an endorsement of such organization (or of any religious or political point of view promoted by such organization) by Ashford University or its affiliates.

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Stephanie Kinman: Military Development and Engagement Specialist

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