With about 1,400 current student veterans at UCF, it’s important that each one knows what’s available to help them make the most out of their campus experience. In September, U.S. News & World Report ranked UCF the 86th best college for veterans.

The Veterans Academic Resource Center (VARC) is the main resource center for student veterans at UCF. From providing a space where student veterans can gather and study to assisting them with using GI bill benefits, this central location — which is in Knights Plaza near the Addition Financial Arena — aims to make veterans transition to civilian and academic life as smooth as possible.

Here’s a list of resources, support services, events and employment opportunities offered through the VARC and across campus that are aimed at supporting student veterans.

Resources and Support Services

Counseling and Psychological Services: CAPS provides various in-person and online resources and methods of support, such as individual counseling and Therapy Assistance Online Treatment, for those with mental health needs.

Office of Student Financial Assistance: OSFA works with the VARC to ensure student veterans get the proper financial assistance they need or have been guaranteed.

Student Academic Resource Center: SARC is a learning center on campus where students can access high-quality academic support programs and services.

Student Accessibility Services: SAS works collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to create an inclusive, equitable educational environment for students. Students who may be experiencing any campus or course barriers can find solutions and support here.

UCF RESTORES: This nonprofit clinical research center and treatment clinic is working to change the way PTSD and other trauma-related concerns are understood, diagnosed and treated. The organization’s unique approach to treatment, which combines exposure therapy using emerging technology like virtual reality, and individual and group therapy sessions, has resulted in 66% of participants with combat-related trauma and 76% of first responders no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria for PTSD following three weeks of intensive treatment.

UCF Veteran Knights: Veteran Knights consist of two organizations, Student Veterans of America (SVA) and SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society. These organizations focus on helping student-veterans connect with one another, share information about local community veteran resources, and to create a culture within the local community that supports veterans’ academic success and leads to future employment.

Veterans Crisis Line: If you’re a veteran in crisis or someone concerned about one, there are caring, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

Veterans History Project: Created in the fall of 2010, the Community Veterans History Project (CVHP) honors American war veterans by giving them the opportunity to share their stories.

Events

VARC Open House: Each semester students, faculty and staff are welcome to tour VARC and learn more about the services provided here. For more info on dates and times, contact VARC Program Coordinate Joshua “JJ” Johnson at [email protected].

Veterans Education and Training Seminars (VETS): This fall educational event aims to educate students, faculty and staff on veteran culture, challenges veterans may face and strategies for working with veterans.

Veterans Resource Fair: This spring event, which is typically held the third week of spring, showcases various services, organizations and departments that help support veterans at UCF.

Veterans Transfer Orientation Sessions: In collaboration with the UCF Knights Major Exploration and Transition Center and Office of Transfer and Transition Services, the Veterans Academic Resource Center hosts incoming transfer student veterans for the first two hours of their transfer orientation. During this time transferring veteran students meet with VARC staff, staff and services and learn about using their G.I. benefits.

Employment

Knight’s Career Quest for Veterans: This partnership program with career services helps student-veterans prepare for and secure employment opportunities. Over two semesters, Knights will learn valuable career competencies that are the most sought after by employers, identify effective job search strategies related to their career development and connect with employers looking to recruit student-veterans.

VA Work-study Students: VAWS is an employment opportunity for student veterans that allows them to assist other student veterans by providing information about benefits and/or services, answering questions and maintaining relevant files.

Vet 2 Vet Mentors: This opportunity allows student veterans to assist others in transiting to civilian and academic life at UCF, learning about what resources are available, connecting with student clubs and organizations, and finding community resources.