Cleveland State Community College has announced the establishment of a Veterans Resource Center in the campus’s George L. Mathis Student Center. The creation of the center was made possible because of a Tennessee Board of Regents Student Engagement, Retention and Success (SERS) grant.
The new center, located on the college’s main campus, will act as a lounge space for veteran and military-affiliated students and as an office area for the Prior Learning Assessment Specialist/Veterans Reconnect coordinator to meet with potential and current veteran students on campus.
“Having a veterans center on campus is important for a few reasons. First, it serves the students directly as a place to go around their class schedule to relax, get something to eat, and be in the company of others who have had some of the same life and college experiences,” Tishauna Hoffman, PLA Specialist/Veterans Reconnect coordinator told the Cleveland Banner.
Hoffman said that it was important to have a veterans services staff member available in the resource center “to create a one-stop experience” for veterans services, “so that they may have all their related questions answered at one time, and so that they can be handed off to other sections of student services knowing that all their military-related issues have been taken care of.”
The new center is expected to have a positive impact on Cleveland State military and veteran students by helping to answer any college readiness questions such as course registration, how to use VA benefits during their college education or career transition services.
“I think this is a very helpful step toward ensuring veterans not only feel welcomed into the college, but it also gives them a place to meet and surround themselves with other veterans. This change will not only affirm veterans for their contributions, but it will also bring about more friendships that may not have happened,” Matthew Dodd, Cleveland State student and U.S. Marine told the Cleveland Banner.
Prior to the launching of the Veterans Resource Center, Cleveland State was voted a “military friendly” campus by GI Jobs magazine.
With financial assistance from the Tennessee Reconnect program, more adult students can attend Cleveland State tuition-free. The program pays for whatever tuition and fees are left after any grant or scholarships have been applied.