C³ - Combat to Campus to Community
Creating Bridges for Student Veterans in Transition
Shoreline Community College has received a $370,000, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support military veterans returning to school.
The money will help create a Center of Excellence for Veterans Student Success as Shoreline’s nationally recognized Veterans Program focuses on helping veterans move from their service experience to college and into the community.
“Shoreline is committed to serving the growing number of veteran students that are moving from combat to campus and then into the communities they served and protected,” said Kim Thompson, Director of the Office of Special Services.
At Shoreline, veterans already get help enrolling, utilizing their veterans’ benefits and navigating the post-secondary system. “Now we’ll be able to do even more,” Thompson said. The program design uses a multi-faceted approach to expand veteran student success as it provides transitional bridges and extra supports at critical points to mitigate barriers veterans face in adjusting from combat to campus and campus to community.
The grant provides funding for a full-time veterans’ counselor, new computers for the Veterans Resource Center, funding for textbook loans as well as short term childcare and housing loans. The funding will also support getting the word out to veterans that Shoreline is here for them and that once they are here, the services are here to help them succeed.
The Veteran Counselor/Academic Advisor position will be funded for the entirety of the three year grant. This individual will have the knowledge and skills necessary to support the unique experiences and transition issues of veterans.
The grant award also provides funding for a peer mentoring program that matches current veteran students with veterans entering school. “We sat down with our student veterans and asked them what would be helpful,” Thompson said. “We wanted to really hear from them what kinds of barriers they were facing and what strategies they thought would be helpful.”
Those conversations helped Thompson put the grant application package together as did help from faculty and staff from across campus.
“It was a group effort. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of a lot of people,” Thompson said. The application was released on June 30, and proposals were due by July 30, 2010. “We had to put it together very quickly and the campus community really came together to ensure that we had all the information necessary.”
Thompson recognized the extraordinary effort made by people from across the campus community. Vice President for Administrative Services Daryl Campbell, along with Sharon Wines, Holly Woodmansee and Stuart Trippel of the Administrative Services office made sure that Thompson had everything necessary on the financial end. They also reviewed the final proposal. Chris Taylor from Enrollment Services and Joe Duggan, institutional researcher, helped define some of the data. Thompson was most grateful, to the Special Services team, OSS program coordinators, Angela Atkinson and Angela Hughes, and her supervisor, Vice President for Student Success Tonya Drake.
Additionally, letters of support from U.S. Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert, the state Department of Veterans Affairs, Vetcorps, the Washington State Approving Agency, American Legion Post and from members of the college’s Veterans Club.