Read the full article at the Michigan Daily.

Student veterans attended orientation in the Pond room of the Michigan Union Thursday evening and learned about the various resources and initiatives to support them on campus. The orientation was led by Psychology Lecturer Eric Fretz, Philip Larson, program director for the Student Veterans Assistance Program, and members of the Peer Advisors for Veteran Education.

The incoming students had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with various community members and programs dedicated to ensuring their success — specifically Fretz’s Veteran Success course.

Fretz combined his background in education and military service and collaborated with Larson and others to develop a series of modules intended to teach student veterans necessary skills, such as study strategies, financial tips and health and safety guidelines. He emphasized the importance of his modules and explained how learning these skills at young age can help prepare for the future.

“I already taught a Learning How to Learn course for psychology and of course the vets need it as much as any other incoming first year, so I started taking chunks of that and delivering it to them at the meeting,” Fretz said. “I also have a large, self-taught background with finance, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way and I figured this could be used to clarify to people that you can have a secure retirement--you have to know about it and start early, but most people don’t know about it and don’t start early.”

The Veteran Success course has been praised not only because of its straightforwardness but also because of Fretz’s ability to connect with the student veterans. Larson himself applauded Fretz for his no-nonsense and relatable tone.

“I think he relates well because he’s a veteran and he speaks the language,” Larson said. “He related to them very well so stuff he says resonates with them and he really tries to go where they are…it’s right what they need to hear.”