History and Welcome
History of Veteran Services at FDU
Founded just weeks after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, FDU has grown from a handful of students into the largest private university in the State of New Jersey with more than 12,000 students hailing from nearly 100 countries. This growth did not come without challenges. After World War II and through the 1950s, FDU had to continuously adapt to serve its largest population of students - returning veterans and their families. We did this by:
The overhaul of the university's operations during the post-war period and the benefits of these changes for veterans are described by FDU founder Dr. Peter Sammartino, in his memoir I Dreamed a College (http://view2.fdu.edu/legacy/veteransperiod.pdf).
Now, FDU serves veterans with a wide array of academic options. We have been an education partner with the New Jersey National Guard since 2003, providing members with quality on-line and on-site coursework that is well-suited for those with full-time jobs (who may also be required to deploy on short notice, as part of their military duties). In addition, FDU's Center for Psychological Services has been a provider of mental health services to veterans since 1983 through a contract with the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Since that time, we have provided individual, family, and couples treatment to many hundreds of eligible veterans.
Now, a new generation of veteran is entering higher education with the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit. The return and reintegration of thousands of veterans has renewed FDU's focus on its' role as a preferred choice for veterans. To develop a comprehensive model for veterans services, a Veterans Education Taskforce (VET) was created - consisting of FDU administration, faculty, staff, and students from areas that interact with veterans under our new comprehensive model. The Taskforce was organized into five operational subcommittees: Academic Affairs, Process Design and Systems, Psychological Services, Outreach and Communication, and Campus and Community Reintegration. Each subcommittee was responsible for developing and implementing best practices in their respective area or responsibility, while as a whole, the committee was responsible for internal and external dissemination.
In 2009, FDU became one of twenty institutions nationally (and only one of two private institutions) to receive a grant award from the American Council on Education (ACE) and the WalMart Foundation to enhance programs and services for veterans. With the help of this grant, FDU established an Office of Veteran Services, a Veterans Education Advisory Board with faculty, staff, and students from across the university, and a Student Veterans Association. We serve more veterans than any other private university in the State of New Jersey.
FDU continues to set a strong example of how to improve the educational experience for veterans and their families.