Rowan College at Burlington County has opened its Center of Excellence for Veterans Student Success, a facility that will provide students who are veterans with academic support, a dedicated lounge space and online resources.
The center officially opened following a community fair for veterans on April 30 and is located in the Votta Hall section of the college, room 134. The Burlington County District 11 Veterans of Foreign Wars and the VFW Auxiliary organized the fair in Votta Hall.
The new center is funded by a federal grant and will enable veterans to receive information about filing federal Veteran Affairs claims, federal and state veterans’ benefits, housing, counseling, employment, discharge upgrades and other issues. All documented veterans – regardless of their use of benefits – are eligible to use the facility.
Dr. Karen Archambault, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success at Rowan, noted that alumni are not covered by the federal grant but will also get support at the center.
“The grant is intended to get (veteran students) to graduation, so if they’ve already graduated, to some extent, they are no longer the target of the center,” she explained. “However, the main focus of the center is really to help (veteran) students overcome barriers to success, which includes connections to career and resources.”
The $375,000 federal grant that paid for the center will also be used to improve retention and graduation rates of veteran students by creating a dedicated space and expanding advising and academic success services.
According to Rowan, national reviews of their experiences on college campuses demonstrate the burdens placed on veterans in returning to school, including the challenges of moving from military to civilian life and fears of appearing vulnerable when asking for help. Some of the grant money will help mitigate those issues.
“We currently serve hundreds of veterans and plan to continue to improve our service to those who served our country,” Rowan President Dr. Michael A. Cioce explained in a release. “Adding a dedicated lounge space – with access to computers and fellow veterans – will increase camaraderie and a sense of inclusion among our veterans.
“This is just another step we’re taking to thank those who have given so much to our country.”
For more information about the Center of Excellence for Veterans Student Success, visit rcbc.edu/center-excellence.