Campus program assists with challenging military veteran-to-student transition.
Newly admitted students at Texas A&M University face several challenges, such as deciding on coursework, establishing housing arrangements, managing finances, navigating College Station and the surrounding area, and developing new relationships. Today’s challenges can be especially demanding on military veterans, which is why Texas A&M created the Military Admissions Program for Integrative Transitions (MAPIT).
MAPIT was established in 1998 as the brainchild of Karen Cambronero, (an Office of Admissions employee who works in the Veteran Resource Support Center), who was advising two active-duty Marines on how to successfully apply for admission to Texas A&M. Cambronero’s guidance led to their admission, and later she developed and implemented personalized academic strategies for both students.
The program is now a close collaboration between Texas A&M’s military admissions team and the Veterans Resource & Support Center, part of the Division of Student Affairs. It aims to help newly enrolled veterans adjust to and navigate the college experience at Texas A&M. Members of the MAPIT team understand what it means to transition from military life to civilian life as a college student, and this unique perspective facilitates better communication and fosters lasting relationships during and after college.
In addition, MAPIT is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs College Completion Grant Program. Their efforts, support and resources continue to drive MAPIT’s success for student veterans.
Consider Amos Nunglian’s experience: Nunglian, who is studying management information systems, recently transferred from a community college in Maryland. With counseling from MAPIT advisers, Nunglian was able plan his curriculum to optimize his potential for future admittance into Texas A&M’s highly competitive Mays Business School.
“After scouting for the most veteran-friendly schools, I knew Texas A&M was the place I wanted to be based on the professional guidance and expertise on veterans of my MAPIT adviser Karen Allen.”
For Nunglian and other veterans, family and tradition are key considerations when selecting a college. Texas A&M has a long and storied history filled with rich tradition. MAPIT not only assists incoming student veterans with academic affairs, it also endeavors to integrate them into the Aggie culture. Networking and relationship building are important pursuits for all students, and MAPIT draws on its extensive connections to help incoming student veterans adapt to new challenges.
MAPIT advisers introduced student veteran Reed Handley, who is studying statistics, to a fellow student veteran who provided him with a much-needed housing option. “They help us with all aspects of our transition from being a soldier to a student, and then they go above and beyond,” said Handley.
It’s easy for veterans to take advantage of the many resources that the MAPIT program has to offer, and it provides ongoing assistance throughout a student’s matriculation at Texas A&M. Because MAPIT advisers take a keen interest in every student veteran, they identify each student’s personal goals, which allows them to develop individualized strategies for success. To date, this approach has resulted in a higher rate of retention among student veterans, with fewer changes of major.
If you are a veteran considering higher education at Texas A&M University, call the VRSC (979-845-3161) or go online and schedule a meeting today. An additional resource available is the Aggie Veteran Network. Once admitted, new students can use the network to contact current student veterans who have utilized the MAPIT program and answer any questions you may have. Karen Allen and Karen Cambronero are passionate about your success and look forward to assisting you at Texas A&M University.
Reed Handley ’20, a statistics major from Houston, Texas, right, and Amos Nunglian ’19, a management and information systems major from Rockville, Maryland, left, are both student veterans at Texas A&M University.
By : Ulises Saucedo
Veteran Resource & Support Center