Veteran’s Resource Center honored with award

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Kevin Sheridan

The Veteran’s resources center at American River College was one of 3 community colleges awarded the Chancellor’s Student Success award.

Kevin Sheridan and Kevin Sheridan

The Veteran’s Resource Center at American River College was one of three community colleges awarded the Chancellor’s Student Success award by State Chancellor Brice Harris.

The award was given for “fostering student success and equity,” according to a press release sent out by the Chancellor’s office.

According to the press release, the award is handed out annually and “honors programs that demonstrate a commitment and significant progress toward achieving success and equity goals for students from diverse backgrounds.”

Benjamin Baird, the supervisor of enrollment services, which is a part of veteran services, says the success that led to the award lies in the convenience of their services.

“We have a one stop shop model, students can do everything from apply to the college, apply for VA benefits, they can see a counselor, they can enroll in their classes, and they certify their enrollment to the VA for their benefits,” he said.

Even though Baird believes Veteran’s Resource center has done many good things for veterans at ARC, he believes there is still much more to do.

“I think there’s an opportunity to get the word out and get more students involved,” he said, adding that they need to ask students what they can do for them.

He added that he believes another reason for their ability to aid veterans has been the hiring of thirteen work study students to aid veterans.

Chris Rogers, a ARC student who is also a military veteran, says these work study students have helped him in his dealings with the Veteran’s Resource Center.

Kolleen Ostgaard, the Dean of Student Support Services, says she believes that another reason for the center’s success in helping students has been their move to one central location, which she believes has helped serve students better.

“In a very short period of time, we’ve expanded our services exponentially and the award is a testament to the work we’ve been doing,” she said.

The Veteran’s Resource center held a celebration to honor the award on Nov. 25.

The celebration was attended by former interim college president Pam Walker and current college president Thomas Greene, who acknowledged the hard work and vision of those working in Veteran’s Resources.

Walker added that working with the Veteran’s Resources Center is one of the greatest things she’s ever done.

Merced Community College and Solano Community College also received awards for their Study Central program and their Umoja Program scholars.