Veterans Education Program reaches out to vets
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Veterans have a new place to call home at Fresno State, says Daniel Rex Bernard, program coordinator of the Veterans Education Program.
"One of the things we’re really excited about is we’re able to provide a dedicated smart classroom for instruction and study," Bernard says. "In addition, we have an adjacent lounge where veterans can use computers, printer, refrigerator, see job postings, and really have a place to call their own. And that’s where my office is located."
Miguel Saldana, a member of the Student Veterans Organization, says, "As a veteran, I’m really thankful for this new lounge that we have. I’m definitely going to use it to its full potential... The biggest thing, I think, for the students coming into campus is that it actually feels welcoming, because now we have a place we call our own."
John Romo, also a member of the Student Veterans Organization, agrees. "As a veteran, this place means to me a place where I can connect with other veterans, where I can feel a common bond with other veterans, somewhere where I won’t feel lost, like a small fish in a pond," he says.
The Veterans Education Program at California State University, Fresno is a six-week, 6 unit course designed to help transition veterans returning to the Central Valley into educational, vocational, and workforce development opportunities.
The program has three phases.
"The first phase is an intensive refresher in English, composition, and mathematics," says Bernard. "The second phase focuses on lifelong building skills, including business acumen, fiscal literacy, communication skills, interviewing, and resume building. The third phase is individualized to meet each student's self-identified goals after completion of the program. And Fresno State has so many resources to help them facilitate those goals."
The program works with the existing veteran support networks in the Central Valley, as well as student veteran organizations. Bernard says he's interested in partnering with any organization that has a vested interest in providing opportunities for veterans and helping them achieve their goals.
"For example, some veterans may want to continue their education and participate in one of the many programs being offered by the Division of Continuing and Global Education, matriculate to Fresno State, or attend one of the many educational institutions in the Central Valley," he says. "And we’ll certainly help them do that. However, we also realize that some veterans may be interested in internship opportunities, workforce development, or vocational training. In addition to our program, we’ll be able to provide veterans with information about regional and national support for veterans."
For more information, or to contribute to the Veterans Education Program, visit ReturningVeteransEducation.com.
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