The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is pleased to announce it has awarded grants totaling $600,000 to expand Campus Veteran Resource Centers at 15 community colleges and public university and bolster other services aimed at helping Oregon student veterans. Veteran Resource Centers are vital in helping veterans transition from military service to college life, complete their educational and vocational goals and successfully transition back into the civilian workforce and community.
The purpose of the Campus Veteran Resource Center Grant Program is to augment these existing campus resources, by funding innovative and impactful projects or programs, designed to improve the lives of student veterans and help them succeed.
All 15 of the institutions who applied received a portion of the available grant funds. The grants ranged from $11,040 to $58,635. The proposed projects were evaluated by a committee composed of members from the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Committee, National Service Organizations, as well as veterans and education experts from across the state. ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick had final approval for award funding.
“For many Americans, a post-secondary degree or course of study is a critical gateway to pursuing a successful career,” Fitzpatrick said. “Student veterans bring with them life experiences, can be older and have very different backgrounds than their peers, and may need additional supports to prepare them for the classroom.”
Highlights of the funded projects include:
• Funding for Campus Veteran Coordinators, who work to ensure student veterans have access to crucial benefits they have earned.
• The development of veteran-specific campus orientation and welcome programs for student veterans and their families.
• The establishment of peer mentor programs and other support services to foster deeper connections among peers, resulting in increased veteran retention and succeeding in school.
• Purchase of technology and electronic equipment for student use.
• Purchase of tutorial software for veterans in the areas of college-level writing and math skills, tutoring or a lending library.
The recipients were Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton; Chemeketa Community College in Salem; Central Oregon Community College in Bend; Clackamas Community College in Oregon City; Klamath Community College in Klamath Falls; Lane Community College in Eugene; Linn-Benton Community College in Albany; Mount Hood Community College in Gresham; Oregon State University in Corvallis; Portland State University in Portland; Rogue Community College in Grants Pass; Southern Oregon State University in Ashland; Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay; University of Oregon in Eugene; and Western Oregon University in Monmouth.