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Baylor University doing more to reach out and serve veterans

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TWC News: Baylor University doing more to reach out and serve veterans
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When Kelli Betner stepped onto the Baylor campus, she remembers feeling like a fish out of water.

Betner is not a traditional college student. Instead she arrived at Baylor after serving in the Army.

"You're use to structure everyday, the same routine, and you get to school and it's a whole new world," Kelli said.

According to faculty member Janet Bagby, these types of feelings are fairly common for service members-turned-students.

"Student veterans come from an extremely structured environment of the military, and then they land on college campuses which are inherently extremely unstructured environment," Bagby said. "They certainly have the ability to succeed and at times they need that extra support."

In order to provide the support for student veterans, Bagby created the Veterans of Baylor organization.

"Our feeling at Baylor is that we want to encourage student veterans to attend Baylor, but we do not want them to attend until we have the services in place to support them so that they can be academically successful," Bagby said.

The group helps provide emotional support for student veterans, who are often older than many of their fellow students.

"You can't really relate to people who are 18 or 19, they're still in freshman mode,' Kelli said. 'It's just a whole different mindset."

In addition to the student organization, recently the Veteran Education and Transitional Services (VETS) center was opened.

The center, which is located inside the ROTC building is staffed with an education psychology doctoral student, who can serve as a transitional coach. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP