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Eastern Florida’s New Veterans Center to Offer Expanded Services
December 16, 2013 - Veterans attending Eastern Florida State College will soon have access to more services through a new Veterans Center designed to meet their educational and personal needs.
The center, which will open Jan. 13, will have offices on the Cocoa and Melbourne campuses.
Its staff will also make regular visits to three Brevard County military installations to speak with active-duty personnel about educational opportunities at the college.
The college’s goal is to provide veterans with additional services at a time when more are returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and pursuing studies at Eastern Florida.
College officials also want to increase recruitment, retention and graduation rates among veterans. Eastern Florida currently has about 875 veterans enrolled.
“The college has long supported veterans through specialized academic, financial aid and career advisement but we need to do more to help them with the challenges they face,” said Eastern Florida President Dr. Jim Richey.
“The Veterans Center will accomplish that by offering additional assistance on everything from making it easier to sign up for educational benefits through the GI Bill to bringing VA representatives on our campuses.
“Veterans have made enormous sacrifices for our country and we’re committed to doing everything we can to help them succeed in the classroom and civilian life,” Richey said.
The center’s expanded services will include:
• Training for faculty and staff on the special assistance veterans may need inside and outside the classroom.
• A computer work area where veterans can get help accessing information on their VA benefits.
• Mentoring and tutoring programs for veterans through local veteran and community organizations.
• Monthly visits from Department of Veteran Affairs’ representatives to assist veterans on a range of issues. A Service Officer from Space Coast Chapter DAV 123 will be on campus several times a month to assist with benefits paperwork.
• New student orientation program tailored for veterans.
• Having qualified psychologists provide on-campus counseling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and increasing outreach to veterans through the college’s EFSCares student counseling program.
• Making regular visits to Patrick Air Force Base and the Naval Ordinance Test Unit and Coast Guard Station at Port Canaveral to provide active duty personnel with information about educational opportunities.
Jason Goodman, who is president of Eastern Florida State College’s Collegiate Veterans Society, said the center will make a major difference in veterans’ lives.
The 35-year-old Air Force veteran will graduate Dec. 19 with an Associate Degree and plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Sales and Marketing Management at the college.
“It’s going to provide us with a single location where we can get assistance with our benefits and serve as a place where we can share the camaraderie we had in the military,” said Goodman. “That will make all veterans much more successful in school.”
The Veterans Center’s main office will be on the Cocoa campus in the Student Services Building (Bldg. 11), Room 212. Another office will be on the Melbourne campus in the Student Services Building (Bldg. 1), Room 122.
contact Kimberly Koplar at 321-433-7140, firstname.lastname@example.org. A new website section about the center will launch in January in conjunction with the Center's opening.