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Vets Center to offer counseling at OTC


Transitioning from the battlefield to the classroom can be a difficult journey for college-bound veterans. With 1,000 veterans attending OTC, reaching out to those with a military experience can be a challenge.



But its just gotten better with counseling services being available for veterans and their family members starting Sept. 10 on the OTC Springfield Campus. The services will be provided by the Springfield Vet Center.



The center will be open on Wednesday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. at the OTC Springfield Campus.



OTC Counseling Services will introduce the center staff at an open house on Wednesday from 1-4 p.m. in the Farmer Conference Room (located in Information Commons West, room 211).



Veterans should contact Dennis Peters, OTC veteran services representative, at 417-447-6968 or petersd@otc.edu



“Coming to OTC is another step in reaching out,” said Stephanie Starkey of the Vet Center who will be counseling the colleges vets.



“We will be providing the same services on campus as we do in our office in order to accommodate student vets who have trouble fitting counseling into their busy schedules.”



Peters said veterans need the services on campus.





Starkey said some returning vets have a difficult time transitioning into civilian life and attending classes.



“Some vets have a tough time in large spaces,” she said. “If the classroom is full, they have trouble with being around a lot of people. If it’s not full, they sit in the back to themselves. They are hyper-vigilant, looking around and seeing what’s happening.”



Classroom discussions can be disturbing for vets if the discussion is unpleasant.



Starkey said her job would be to talk to those veterans who need help and can identify what troubling them. They will be independent session and in some cases, she will recommend the veteran come to the Vet Center in Kickapoo Corners for more help.



Joyce Bateman, director of counseling at OTC, said her offices the new services is a welcoming gesture to student veterans.




“We have many veterans who come to Counseling Services for support and their preference is to speak with a professional counselor who is also a vet,” she said. “We can provide this for them now, right on our campus.”



Contributors

Mark Miller

Phone: 417.447.2655

Email: publicinfo@otc.edu

Steve Koehler

Coordinator of media relations

Phone: (417) 447-2666

Email: koehlers@otc.edu

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