Military Student Success Center Celebrates New Location in Academic Services Building
Last Updated on March 05, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Originally published March 05, 2020
By Elizabeth Ashby
The Military Student Success Center (MSSC) at The University of Texas at El Paso welcomed the community to its new location on campus with an open-house celebration Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the Mike Loya Academic Services Building, Room 130.
The MSSC helps UTEP’s military-affiliated students, a population of more than 3,000, thrive in a university environment. Active-duty service members, veterans and their families have access to a full-time staff that helps them navigate UTEP’s student support services, provides information about educational and financial benefits, and facilitates the transition from military to college life.
When the MSSC staff and student traffic outgrew their former space in the University Library, the center moved to its new location in the Mike Loya Academic Services Building, Room 130. Many of the on-campus resources used by military-affiliated students have offices located in the Mike Loya Academic Services Building, and officials hope that the new location will serve as a more convenient destination.
"Addressing this student population's unique needs is a collaborative effort among various departments across the University and within the Division of Student Affairs," said Vice President for Student Affairs Gary Edens, Ed.D. "We're happy to make this intuitive move that will improve efficiency and create a convenient one-stop shop for our military-affiliated students."
MSSC staff regularly refers students to offices including Financial Aid, Registrar, Enrollment Services and Student Business Services. The situations typically faced by these students – determining transfer credits from military training, inquiring about FAFSA applications and refunds from benefits, and acquiring ADA parking for vehicles with disabled veteran license plates – can all be addressed just a few steps from the new MSSC location, which was repurposed from a space that previously housed a large conference room.
MSSC's eight full-time staff members are already taking advantage of their new placement, sometimes walking students to these offices. MSSC Director Nadia Muñoz said that their new location will prevent the friction points that occur when students are shuffled between departments in different areas of campus.
“This building was targeted strategically for our partners who are located in here,” Muñoz said. “We have always depended on them, and they are all strategic in having the student be successful, financially and academically."
The MSSC also offers two satellite locations. The MSSC Fort Bliss Office serves the population on the installation by offering information on how to enroll at UTEP and financially prepare using military education benefits. The Military Resource Center located in the El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center offers a space for students to study and gather.
For more information on their resources, visit utep.edu/student-affairs/mssc/.