Serving Students Who Serve
For Joseph Ratte and Jeremiah Caudill, the transfer journey to ECU involved classes at their local community colleges and an around-the-world journey with the armed services. The Pirate Veterans Organization has been instrumental in the support and success of both students.
Ratte, as a former religious affairs specialist in the Army, brings real experience with empathy and trauma counseling to his current studies as a Kinesiology major. “‘Patience and persistence’ has been my motto, getting me through my hard classes,” says Ratte. He has taken advantage of several ECU programs aimed at student success. The summer Veteran to Scholar Bridge Program assists students with campus culture and developing good study habits. The program draws on the skills of Associate English professor Dr. Anna Froula who taught him critical thinking, reading and writing skills as well as how to get university support from the Pirate Academic Success Center, Writing Center and Pirate Techs Student Computing Support Center.
Ratte transferred a number of UGETC credits from Coastal Carolina Community College but chose to come to ECU before finishing the Associate of Science degree. Any NC community college student is considered a transfer for admission after completing English 111 and finishing 24 credit hours in transferable classes while meeting GPA standards.
Caudill, on the other hand, finished at Johnson Community College with his Associate in Arts before transferring into ECU’s History Department. A fellow veteran friend recommended ECU – “When he graduated, he was ready to take on the world,” said Caudill, a former Marine. “It can be challenging socially for veterans, and the Student Veteran Services Center has been a great place for me to find fellow veterans. Come visit!,” says Caudill emphatically. Benefits like priority registration, VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC), mentoring, and the veteran’s lounge are all great resources to fit the unique needs of veterans at ECU.