College of the Canyons has been awarded $200,000 in grant funding to assist COC in its commitment to helping veterans, active duty service members and dependents achieve their academic goals.
“The funding will be used to establish new and enhanced services for veterans and dependents of veterans,” said Renard Thomas, director of the Veterans Resource Center at COC.
“With the projected growth of the Canyon Country community, one of our priorities is to improve services and access at the Veterans Resource Office on the Canyon Country campus,” Thomas said.
At College of the Canyons, veterans have access to services such as advisement, academic counseling, free tutoring, and more through the VRC at the Valencia campus and the Veterans Resource Office at the Canyon Country campus. Additionally, staff and faculty participate in training to ensure they know the best ways to support student veterans.
More than 600 veterans and dependents enroll at COC annually, and since 2012-13, graduation and completion have increased by 142 percent.
The grant funding will help ensure the program can accommodate exponentially more students.
Office hours at the Canyon Country campus will be extended to increase accessibility.
The veterans certification process will be improved through the reorganization of staff and a more sophisticated communication system that will engage students at every step of enrollment, from the first contact to registration.
An online orientation will allow veterans outside of the area to access their education benefits while they are exiting the military or from their residence outside of the immediate area.
The grant funding was awarded to eligible colleges through a competitive process. In total, $8.5 million was awarded to 59 colleges by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.
California community colleges annually enroll an average of 80,000 veterans and active duty service members, making it necessary for these schools to offer programs, faculty and staff that can guide them towards success and contribute to their well-being.
To learn more about the College of the Canyons’ Veteran Resource Center, please visit the department’s webpage.