Chez center for veterans in higher education
Supporting military-connected students at Illinois
About the Chez Center
Are you a student-veteran at the University of Illinois looking to take advantage of some of our services? Take the first step by registering as a veteran with the Chez center.
The Chez Center works to maximize your VA benefits and make the transition to college easier. We offer academic coaching services as well as individual and family counseling.
Programs & Services
Transition & Academic Services
From our own military experience and working with our current military-connected students it has become clear that the transition from a military environment to a college or university can be difficult. This is particularly true of veteran students with a disability. Our transition services will help you set up your VA benefits, find suitable housing, connect you with your program’s academic advisor and more! We also provide individualized academic coaching, tutoring, student veteran orientation course, and disability self-management. We understand that colleges and universities often are not set up to properly meet the needs of non-traditional military-connected students, This is why we work with students to transition and be comfortable at Illinois.
Benefits & Outreach
Navigating the student-veterans benefit programs can be overwhelming and frustrating. The Chez center will partner with you to work with the university and different government agencies to make sure that you receive every veteran benefit you are entitled to. This includes the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, the Illinois Veterans Grant, and strategies on how to maximize your benefits each year.
Our office will also work with you to better understand any disabilities you may have and ensure that you have the proper accommodations to succeed at Illinois.
Incoming students are connected with trained Vet Connect mentors who are academically successful students that have been on campus for at least one year. These peers have already experienced what you are now and are trained to guide you through the transition to campus and help you make one of the largest universities in the country feel smaller and more comfortable.
Health & Life Skills
One of the most significant changes in your transition out of the military is going from an environment filled with structure and routine to one with almost no structure at all. If we aren’t mindful of this transition its possible to fall behind on a number of healthy habits. The Chez center provides nutritional counseling, fitness opportunities, neuropsychological testing, even mindfulness, and yoga exercises. We also have services to assist student veterans with newly acquired injuries and how to physically adapt to life with the injury and understand how this disability may impact their learning and integration to their new lifestyle.
Career & Employment
Many student-veterans leave the military unsure of the kind of civilian career they want and can go into. The Chez center provides services that will help you identify a career path that interests you, understand how to translate your military experience into job skills, connect you with internship and job opportunities, as well as connect students with employers interested in hiring veteran students.
Counseling & Family
Military families can face intense challenges under normal circumstances. Lifestyle changes for a student veteran, particularly student veterans with a disability, impact the entire family. The family’s adjustments and transitions need attention as well. These services will provide psychological, marital, and family counseling directed at the student veteran, their spouse, and children. Intentional family events and activities will be offered to enhance family well-being. We provide Individual and group counseling, family counseling, readjustment and reintegration strategies, anger management, and alcohol & drug counseling.
Live in a fully accessible peer community
The Chez Center for Wounded Veterans features 14 private suites with individual bathrooms fully equipped with any of the accessibility amenities you need. This includes personal assistants and a ceiling lift system that can be made available.
Our residential facility offers military-connected students to transition into college life with a group of like-minded peers experiencing the same things they are. This daily peer to peer connection can make the college experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
Contact us for more information on Chez residential services.
Creating knowledge that improves the lives of veterans and their families
At the University of Illinois, we are dedicated to knowledge generation and dissemination that serves to improve the well-being and quality of life for military Service Members, Veterans, and their families. We believe in the union of theory and praxis; the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education provides direct services for military-connected students and now we are working diligently to develop a robust research component to complement and expand our reach.
Jeni Hunniecutt is our new Visiting Research Specialist, working between the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education and the Center on Health, Aging, and Disability within the College of Applied Health Sciences. She is working to develop a Military/Veteran-centered interdisciplinary research mission, infrastructure, and network of collaborators consisting of UI faculty and researchers + military Service Members, Veterans, and military family members + community partners at local, state, and national levels.
If you are interested in belonging to and participating in this network, please let us know by completing the Military/Veteran Research Interest form.
Give to Chez
Giving wounded veterans opportunities to succeed after the military
Financial gifts in support of the Chez Center for Wounded Veterans helps to ensure that veterans returning home with combat-related injuries have the same opportunities for success outside of the military that anyone else does. We understand that these students have sacrificed much on behalf of this country and its people and the least we can give in return is an opportunity to level the playing field.
We believe that military-connected students at the University of Illinois are on a trajectory of greater success because this center exists.
Get in touch
Chez Center for Veterans in Higher Education
College of Applied Health Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
908 W Nevada St.
Urbana, IL 61801