Veteran students will soon have a dedicated center and a team of specially trained advocates to help them in their pursuit of higher education.
On Wednesday, Pierce College was notified it had been selected to receive a three-year, $364,000 grant from the federal Department of Education to develop a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom.
This center will provide veteran students a designated space to gather and learn, a person to help with one-on-one attention, and services to help them be successful in higher education and transition into civilian life.
Pierce College serves a large number of veteran students. Last year, the Fort Steilacoom campus alone served 1,084 veteran students.
For Carol Green, vice president of learning and student success at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, this center represents not only a major accomplishment for the college, but a personal victory.
“Through my son’s career in the military (her son has served in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq), I’ve learned so much about what armed services personnel do and how much they sacrifice for each of us,” she said. “This center is a way for us as an institution to say ‘thank you’ and to help them
to an educational pathway.”
Pierce College anticipates the center will provide veterans with dedicated tutors, small-group instruction groups in critical courses, and evening and
weekend study tables staffed with additional math and writing tutors. The grant will also provide veterans with directed funds for childcare and
transportation assistance, as well as other emergency needs, including housing assistance. Pierce College faculty and staff will be specially trained to increase their knowledge of the effects of war zone stressors and the complex needs of veterans.
The grant was made official today. Green said she and her team are already working to redistribute staff duties and secure a location on campus for the new center.