LONG BEACH, Calif.—A partnership between California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and Long Beach City College (LBCC) has veteran students at both campuses receiving additional support services, thanks to a fairly new federal government program. Currently, CSULB has about 470 student veterans on campus.
CSULB and LBCC are among 62 new colleges and universities across the country offering services through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program, which provides on-campus support to veterans transitioning to student life.
“Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College worked together to make this extra support for our student veterans possible,” said Donald J Para, interim president of CSULB. “By combining our student veteran populations we qualified for the VetSuccess on Campus program, and we are very pleased to bring this vital resource to both campuses.”
The new campus support comes in the form of an experienced VA counselor, Lois Daz, who will split her time between both campuses. Daz will provide counseling on federal veterans’ benefits and provide referrals to both medical and non-medical VA services. Additionally, she will maintain close relationships with local VA veterans’ centers and VA medical facilities, referring student veterans as needed for counseling or medical services and providing assistance enrolling in and applying for VA benefits.
“Having served in the Army myself, I can appreciate the dedication our military veterans have to the country and their families. And for those who decide to enroll in higher education institutions, we must dedicate resources, training and programs enabling our veterans to accomplish their academic goals and empower them to continue serving our country,” said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, LBCC’s Superintendent-President. “This grant and partnership will make providing those underlying services available to our veterans and ease the transition into the college/university system.”
“This partnership will work in tandem to support our veteran population by providing the programs and services they need and deserve - now and in the future” said Lillian Justice, Director of Enrollment Services at Long Beach City College. “As we look to expand our programs at LBCC and CSULB, we wish to thank our military veterans for their service as always and in-turn look forward to serving them in achieving their academic goals.”
Thomas noted that working on both campuses, the CSULB/LBCC veterans affairs counselor will help transferring student veterans see an even clearer connection between the two schools.
When the VA announced the fall expansion of institutions offering VetSuccess services on this fall, Allison A. Hickey, the VA’s undersecretary for benefits said, “VetSuccess on Campus is an innovative approach to help veterans in the often difficult transition from military service to academic life. Placing experienced VA counselors directly on college campuses strengthens VA’s partnership with institutions of higher learning and creates myriad opportunities to help veterans succeed.”
Cal State Long Beach is annually listed as a “military friendly school” by the publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine. In addition, under the leadership of Marshall Thomas, director or Veterans Affairs at CSULB, the university is the home to VET NET Ally, a four-hour awareness program that educates members of the community, students, faculty and staff about the unique experiences of student veterans. VET NET Ally is becoming a state and national model.
According to LBCC, their mission is to provide a caring and supportive environment for veterans and their families who are transitioning into their academic careers. They provide assistance with access to VA educational benefits, college enrollment, and offer guidance and encouragement to help veterans succeed while attending.
For more information on CSULB’s Office of Veterans Services, located in Room 220 of the Foundation Building, call 562/985-5115 or visit the Office of Veterans Services website.
For more information on the VetSuccess on Campus program, go to http://www.vetsuccess.gov.
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Media Contacts: Ken Swisher, 562/985-2703, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Gloady, 562/985-5454, email@example.com