Veterans Coordinating Council and Community of Practice Action Planning

A Veterans Coordinating Council and Community of Practice will help implement the following list of ideas, generated from the discussion. The main purpose of the council is to close the gaps that currently exist in our system, beginning by raising veteran awareness on campus. The council will focus on closing the gaps in areas that include, but are not limited to:

  • faculty and staff professional training
  • campus connections and student groups
  • resource development and budget planning
  • outreach and marketing to include technology, open communication, and the web

The following content summarizes suggestions presented by participants:

Faculty and staff professional training

  • Veteran's panel discussion (identify stakeholders who can be brought into discussions).
  • Identify faculty and staff that are veterans.
  • Post veteran safe zone and "I am a vet" flyers.
  • Talk about fears or strategies when working with veterans.
  • Offer anger management classes for students and workshops for faculty and staff on how to de-escalate an anger moment.
  • Use In-Service Day to train personnel on veteran awareness.
  • New faculty orientation materials can include a veteran awareness packet.

Campus connections and student groups

  • Establish a Veterans Club that is open to all students.
  • Host one event per quarter so that veterans can learn more about the various departments on campus.
  • Find a way to track veterans as they progress through GRCC.
  • Send information packets about what the veteran's office provides in terms of GI benefits.
  • Gator guide idea: Vet to Vet.
  • Engage with the Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC).
  • Host a Veterans Day (Nov 11) celebration.

Resource development and budget planning

  • Engage staff to address these issues.

Outreach and marketing (technology, open communication, and the Web)

  • Create a link to a veteran website on the GRCC's home page. This website will have information regarding:
    • veteran events
    • the GI Bill, campus services (e.g., counseling, veterans, and DSS offices)
    • program information (e.g., eLearning, Natural Resources)
    • toll-free telephone numbers
    • student clubs
    • links to MySpace and blogs
  • Use GRCC events to extend a welcome to veterans. Upcoming events could include:
    • HSP Breakfast (Nov 5)
    • Next Step.
  • Distribute marketing materials in stations, military bases, education fairs, apartments, laundry mats, community centers, churches, libraries, recovery centers, health clinics, the VFW, and community boards (e.g., Starbucks).
  • Create a panel that will present at WF, DSS, and Outreach.

General ideas for implementation

  • Use language that helps veterans find their mission.
  • Offer priority course registration for veterans.
  • Create orientation for all veterans, not just VCC members.
  • Connect with military transitional programs and bring them to GRCC for events and an orientation.
  • Have an assessment test available for veterans to take at the career services office.
  • Assist with veterans credential evaluation for prof-tech.
  • Explore ways to transfer life credit into a degree program.
  • Expedite the college process.
  • Share information between departments.
  • Have DSS develop a best practices sheet that may be distributed to faculty and staff.
  • Offer a course on PTSD.
  • Introduce counseling staff to signs and symptoms of PTSD and offer CEU workshops on PTSD and war trauma stress reactions.
  • Send letters to veterans about campus resources and services.
  • Develop a list of all campus employees who are veterans or are dependents of veterans and create a veterans support team.
  • Establish a veterans club
  • Host a veteran information day or fair and invite veteran contractors, the VFW, and the American Legion to campus.
  • Host a Veterans Day activity.
  • Develop workshops on military cultural competency.
  • Host a brown bag workshop and discussion panel for veterans.
  • Create a GRCC veterans coin.

For further information on GRCC's Veteran's Coordinating Council, please contact Deb Casey, Ph.D. Dean of Student Services and Retention at phone number 253-833-9111, ext. 3328