Colleges step up for veterans

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

As Veterans Day approaches, community colleges are working to serve veterans all year long.

Just in time for Veterans Day, student veterans at Community College of Denver (CCD) have a new, dedicated space on campus.

CCD opened the Veterans Service Center in response to a request from CCD veteran students to have a space where they could receive one-on-one advising, have a place to connect with other veterans and have access to campus resources. The center also will offer veterans benefits counseling, access to computers and a place for students to print homework and other documents.

CCD students voted to use a percentage of their students fees for the construction of the center.

The college has more than 200 U.S. veterans using their education benefits received through the GI Bill.

California’s MiraCosta College is in the design phase for a new Veterans Center. The project just received a $1.5 million state grant.

The 1,424-square-foot Veterans Center will be housed in a new Student Services Building at MiraCosta College’s Pedley Park. The grant funding will help equip an 800-square-foot lounge and resource area, in addition to offices for the veterans services program manager, a Veterans Administration representative and a trio of counselors, as well as a veterans patio. Computer stations and printers, a bolstered textbook loan program, and expanded outreach and communications to Camp Pendleton – the West Coast’s largest Marine Corps base and home to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force – are among the planned enhancements.

Because the center will be housed in a new, one-stop-shop Student Services Building, veterans, active duty military and their dependents will no longer have to visit various offices tucked away in different parts of the campus to find the staff and resources they need.

“MiraCosta College each year serves almost 3,500 students who are veterans, active-duty personnel, or military dependents, and these funds will go a long way toward furthering the college’s commitment to making sure they get the resources they deserve after giving so much in serving our nation,” said MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Sunita “Sunny” Cooke.

Construction is expected to begin in approximately 12 months.

Events honor veterans

At Iowa Lakes Community College, student leaders are organizing special events for Veterans Day on all five campuses.

All campuses have decided to display ‘Honor Trees.’ Multi-colored ribbons are placed near the Honor Trees and signs next to the trees encouraging students, staff and faculty to tie various colored ribbons to the trees to recognize those who have served, as well as those currently serving in the U.S. military.

Iowa Lakes students also are encouraged to write essays regarding their favorite veteran or about what Veteran’s Day means to them.

Faculty, staff and students at Northeast Community College in Nebraska are being encouraged to express their thanks to veterans by writing notes to servicemembers.

Some of the notes will be delivered to current military students at Northeast, some will be taken to members of the Norfolk Veterans Home and the rest will be sent to Operation Gratitude, which distributes notes and cards to those in uniform, both domestically and across the world.

New York’s Finger Lakes Community College is displaying The Veterans Book Project, a library of books authored collaboratively by artist Monica Haller and dozens of people who have been affected by, and have archives of, the current American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During the FLCC Veterans Day ceremony, several Midlakes School students, as well as veterans and caretakers, will talk about their experience visiting the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

How are you serving student veterans? Sound off on LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.