ZANESVILLE, Ohio- This past week, Zane State College received an honor from Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
Zane State was one of the thirty-three schools chosen to receive the Collegiate Purple Star Award for supporting students with Military Backgrounds.
The announcement of this honor came in the wake of Memorial Day as people across the United States were honoring the veterans in their communities. The Purple Star Award signifies the initiative taken by Zane State College to make its campus community more welcoming to students.
Heather Merry, Mental Health Counselor and First Point of Contact for Veterans and those currently serving, spoke about the significance of this award;
“Ohio is actually the first in the nation to have this designation at a collegiate level, and I think it just shows the importance of not only helping our veterans in the K through 12, but they need to have those extenuating benefits long after. So providing some help for them and resources for them when they come to higher education.”
Criteria for the award included having a dedicated point of contact and or office on campus, priority registration for veterans and service members, and space in which they can openly discuss their needs and challenges during their time in service and their education process.
Merry spoke about Zane State’s continuation of support after receiving this honor;
“I think this gives us an opportunity to look at what we are currently providing for them and to see what other ways that we can expand upon that and give them more wrap-around services to help them throughout their education journey.”
The second round of Purple star award applications will be accepted later in the year. For more information about this Collegiate Purple Star Program, you can visit the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s website at www.ohiohighered.org/purple-star .