NORWALK - Cerritos College hosted a grand opening ceremony Tuesday for its newly-established Veterans Resource Center.More than 100 people, including college officials, community members, veterans organizations representatives, dignitaries, faculty, staff and students marked the occasion with a ribbon-cutting. Cerritos College enrolled 421 veterans in the 2009-10 school year, an increase of 15% over 2008-09. With enrollment of veterans expected to increase dramatically in the near future due to soldiers returning from war zones, there is an urge to meet the needs of these returning veterans who wish to attend college. The new Veterans Resource Center is a centralized resource hub, available to all student veterans and their families. The center refers student veterans to various support services programs on campus, such as veteran admissions services, financial aid, counseling, student health services, career services and the academic support center. Veterans will also be able to access outside referrals and direct services from the VA Hospital. "It is challenging for veterans to navigate through the process of transitioning from the military to a civilian and academic environment," said Norwalk Mayor Gordon Stefenhagen, an Army veteran who attended the ribbon-cutting. In October, Cerritos College was chosen to receive a $392,423 federal grant to implement and expand veterans transition back to civilian life and the campus community. "Community colleges are a great place for many veterans who return from service to move toward the completion of their academic goals," said college president Dr. Linda Lacy. "And we are here to support veterans and their families as they transition back into civilian and college life." For more information on the Veterans Resource Center at Cerritos College, call (562) 860-2451, ext. 3716 or visit www.cerritos.edu/va.
********** Published: November 18, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 31