To University of Iowa graduate Tim Bosch, education is at the center of reintegration for Iowa’s veterans.
To read a related story, see ICOVE rolls out peer mentoring program for student veterans.
That’s why the Pella, Iowa, native, who now serves as the veterans resource specialist at the UI College of Education, is at the center of the college’s new I-SERVE program.
An acronym for Iowa Supports Education and Resources for Veterans and Enlisted, I-SERVE was created with the goal of helping facilitate successful transitions for veterans and enlisted into higher education at the University of Iowa.
Through counseling designed to address each person’s needs, the program assists veterans with accessing benefits, the application process, completing coursework, preparing for and searching for jobs, and achieving overall career success.
The UI consistently is recognized as one of the best schools in the nation for veterans, ranking in the top 10 best colleges for veterans in the inaugural U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges for Veterans. The UI also made Victory Media’s list of Military Friendly Schools for the sixth consecutive year this fall.
The program kicked off its recruitment phase during the fall semester, and is based around the concept of helping veterans fulfill their desire to serve and lead by guiding them through the education process and introducing them to service-oriented careers.
“We feel this is really critical because so many of our veterans are coming back and trying to reintegrate,” says Vilia Tarvydas, head of the college’s Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education, which plays a role in I-SERVE. “Having worked with veterans, we’ve found that many of these career choices play on their desire to serve in some kind of profession that allows them to use the kinds of talents they’ve developed during their military service.”
That desire to continue service is something Bosch has experienced first hand. In fact, he says it’s what drove him to further his education in the first place.
Bosch was in the Marine Corps on active duty in the 1990s, joined the Iowa Air Guard following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and was deployed to the Kuwait-Iraq border in 2007.
He recently graduated from the College of Education with a master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling—a program he became interested in while deployed to the Iraq-Kuwait border in 2007 as a crash rescue medic.
“Seeing the number of injured people coming back, that’s what brought me to the program,” Bosch says. “I was reflecting on the rehabilitation process and what these soldiers were going to be doing when they got back home, and I really think education is at the root of that, and furthering your education and making informed choices in that process is probably the first and most critical step.”
But earning a degree didn’t come without challenges. Bosch says it was tough to figure out the logistics of being a nontraditional student, juggling a family, and sorting out benefits he didn’t understand.
Now Bosch, Tarvydas, and the College of Education at large hope to give back by helping to close that resource gap for Iowans who have served our country.
“It’s so wonderful to have the opportunity to do such worthy work. These veterans are so deserving, and we are trying to provide a better opportunity for them, and to support them throughout their pursuit of an education,” says Susan Lagos Lavenz, associate dean for teacher education in the college.
The College of Education actively recruits veterans as students seeking degrees and certifications in many disciplines, including teaching, psychology, rehabilitation, leadership, counseling, and assessment.
For more information regarding courses of study, admission requirements, or current faculty and graduate students, visit www.education.uiowa.edu/VETS or contact the Veteran Resource Specialist at email@example.com or 319-335-5544.