(Ashland, Ore.) — The Veterans Resource Center at Southern Oregon University has been awarded a $68,254 grant from the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs to help improve outcomes for student veterans at the university.
SOU is one of 14 Oregon universities and community colleges to receive the one-time veterans resource grants, which range from $25,830 to $79,290. A total of $900,000 was awarded.
“A post-secondary degree or course of study at a technical or vocation college is a critical gateway for many veterans to transition out of the military into a successful civilian career,” said Kelly Fitzpatrick, director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “But unlike most students, veterans are often older and have very different life experiences from their peers.
“Campus veteran resource centers provide critical veteran resources and offer support networks with other student veterans, which can drastically improve outcomes and help ensure success for student veterans in their educational endeavors and future careers.”
The Veterans Resource Center at SOU provides support to student veterans, current service members, and their families during their transition from military service to college life, and as they complete their educational goals. The grant will provide funding for orientation and outreach, and help the SOU center create a cultural competence training course, hire a graduate assistant and add new programs to support veterans and military families.
“It was a lot of work, but we are excited and humbled to receive this grant,” said Kevin Stevens, coordinator for the SOU Veterans Center.
“The SOU Veterans Center is more connected to the region and campus than ever before, and this grant will help us take our outreach programming to the next level,” he said.
The grant program is intended to augment existing campus resources by paying for innovative projects or programs that will improve the lives of student veterans.
A Veterans Affairs committee evaluated the proposal of each college and university that applied for the grants, approving some projects and declining others. Most projects in the SOU proposal were approved.
Other institutions receiving the Veterans Resource grants are the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Oregon Institute of Technology and Western Oregon University, and Blue Mountain, Chemeketa, Clackamas, Klamath, Lane, Mount Hood, Rogue and Southwestern Oregon community colleges.
More information about SOU’s veteran-affiliated programs is available at www.sou.edu/veterans.