The newest school to receive a grant application is Lewis University, a liberal arts school located 30 minutes Southwest of Chicago in Romeoville, IL. The school applied to Aurora in hopes of creating a Veterans' Ally Program, in which faculty and staff would learn about the different issues veterans face as they return to school. As educators, they would learn how to best help their student veterans acclimate to the classroom, and know how to give them any special assistance they might need.
The Office of Military and Veteran Affairs is lead by Roman Ortega, Jr., who served in the US Army for 15 years and achieved the rank of Major. He earned his MBA, and serves as the first Director for Veterans Affairs and Recruitment at Lewis University. With nearly 8% of the school's population active duty military or veteran, the school identified the need for this program to help their student veterans smoothly transition to the classroom.
As word continues to spread about the Aurora Foundation, we are receiving an increased number of applications from schools all across the country. A couple different factors which distinguished Lewis University from the rest of the schools were that over 5% of their population identified as veteran or active duty. They also clearly laid out a system to not only identify their student veterans, but track them from the moment they came on campus to the day they left the school - either through attrition or graduation. As Aurora continues to give grants to schools, we want to ensure we can learn about the retention and graduation rates of student veterans, to know whether or not the funds are helping the students stay in school and successfully graduate.
Please click here to read more about Lewis University's Department of Veterans Affairs and Recruitment. Congratulations to LU, and the beginnings of their Veterans Ally Program!