ODVA release – The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) is pleased to announce it has awarded grants totaling $1,000,000 to expand Campus Veteran Resource Centers and bolster other services aimed at helping student veterans at Oregon’s public universities and community colleges. Veteran Resource Centers are important investments in helping veterans transition from military service to college life, complete their education goals, and successfully transition to a career and their community. The purpose of the Campus Veteran Resource Center Grant Program is to augment these existing campus resources, by funding innovative and impactful projects or programs designed to improve the lives of student veterans and help them succeed. All 14 of the institutions who applied received a portion of the available grant funds, ranging in awards from $49,720 to $100,000. Awardees include Central Oregon Community College, Chemeketa Community College, Klamath Community College, Lane Community College, Linn-Benton Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon State University, Portland Community College, Portland State University, Rogue Community College, Southern Oregon University, Southwestern Oregon Community College, University of Oregon, and Western Oregon University. The proposed projects were evaluated by a committee composed of Veteran Service Officers, education partners, members of the Oregon National Guard, and other partners who provide direct services to veterans. “A post-secondary degree or course of study at a public university or community college is a critical pathway for many veterans to transition out of the military into a successful civilian career,” ODVA Interim Director Dr. Nakeia Daniels said. “But unlike most students, veterans often 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.” Highlights of some of the funded projects include: Funding support for Campus Veteran Coordinator positions, who work to ensure student veterans have access to benefits and supports they have earned. The development of veteran-specific campus orientation and welcome programs for student veterans and their families. The establishment of peer mentor programs and other support services to foster deeper connections among peers, resulting in increased veteran retention and succeeding in school. Purchase of technology and electronic equipment for student use. Purchase of tutorial software for veterans in the areas of college-level writing and math skills, tutoring, or a lending library. Travel to state and national conferences to promote student veteran professional development and employment networking opportunities. Programs that are designed to provide resources and assistance to address student veteran food insecurity, mental health & wellbeing struggles, transportation barriers and other emergency supports. Veterans’ events, ceremonies, career fairs, and skill building workshops. Marketing and advertising to expand outreach to historically underrepresented and underserved veterans. More information about this grant can be found on ODVA’s website at www.oregon.gov/odva/agency-programs/grants/Pages/Campus-Grant.aspx.