Viterbo initiative helps veteran students - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Viterbo initiative helps veteran students

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

Viterbo University has appointed a full-time director to help military veterans successfully transition into college. 

The university has named Keith Purnell as the Director of Military Aligned Student Support and Recruitment.  He brings with him 22 years of service in the U.S. Army.

Purnell noted the unique challenges that can sometimes face veterans deciding to go to college when compared to the traditional incoming freshman.

"They're probably greater than 24 years of age.  They can already have families.  The challenge is with not only making the transition from military life to that of a student, but they also have to juggle those things that come with raising a family," he said.

However, Purnell added how veteran students bring certain skill sets that can really be an advantage to becoming a student.  

"Military members are very much focused on mission and values.  I think the mission and values here at Viterbo segue seamlessly into that," he said.

Veterans at Viterbo can receive assistance in numerous areas including application process, accessing military benefits and academic support services. 

Viterbo's goal is to increase the number of military aligned students by 300 percent over the next five years.

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