November 11, 2013
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Honoring Veteran Students at FRCC

In 1919, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Allied nations and Germany finally agreed to an armistice after more than four years of fighting. Ninety-five years after the end of World War I, on November 11, we honor our American veterans who have served our country and fought courageously to protect our freedoms.

Here at FRCC, we work hard to make sure our veteran students have the support they need to be successful. They are heroes, after all. The least we can do is set them on the right path as they begin or continue their educational journey.

700 Veterans Strong

Close to 700 veterans attend FRCC—about 300 at Larimer Campus, 265 at Westminster Campus and Brighton Center, and 100 at Boulder County Campus. We strive to be veteran-friendly by doing whatever we can to help students acclimate when they return from service and head back to school.

Transition to Civilian Life is not Always Easy

Randy Rayback, who heads up our veteran services program at Boulder County, says it can take a while for veterans to adjust—and returning to school has its challenges. “Sometimes veterans come to FRCC unsure about what they want to do next in their lives, and many of them need help figuring things out,” he says. “Our role is to help them succeed and offer them support in whatever way they need it.”

Giving Veterans the Support They Need

New and continuing veteran students can receive services from the Veteran Services offices on their campus. They help veteran students and their eligible dependents apply for Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits, apply for federal financial aid and veteran tuition assistance, complete and submit any necessary documentation for VA benefits, and much more.

Veteran Services also serves as a referral source for veterans who may need other types of assistance, too. Vicki Fox, veteran services counselor for Westminster Campus and Brighton Center, says that in addition to helping students with academic advising and VA benefits help, the FRCC veteran services offers help veteran students get connected to community resources, too. “We hold a veteran resources fair every February that brings many different agencies to campus,” she says. The Larimer Campus also holds resources fairs twice a year, and offers campus workshops for veteran students on everything from building strong study habits to managing a budget.

For moral support and camaraderie, don’t forget the veterans clubs at each of our campuses. They offer social activities, volunteer opportunities, and casual get-togethers so you can get to know other veteran students and build your support community.

Veteran-Specific Advising

Veteran students who receive VA educational benefits and/or tuition assistance need to stay closely connected to their veteran services office because there are rules to follow to ensure students’ degree plans meet VA requirements for GI Bill funding.

Where to start? Contact Veteran Services at your FRCC campus:

  • Boulder County Campus, Randy Rayback – (303) 678-3654
  • Larimer Campus, Josh DeSanti – (970) 204-8263
  • Westminster Campus & Brighton Center, Vicki Fox – (303) 404-5249

Serving Those Who Served

Josh DeSanti, veteran services counselor at the Larimer Campus, says that FRCC attracts veterans for several important reasons. “We have an outstanding reputation as a community college and offer great support services for all of our students, and we’re also not far from Colorado State University, one of the most veteran-friendly colleges in the country,” he says. “We try to understand the specific challenges that veterans face as they transition out of their military lives, and we work hard to serve them well.”

FRCC is a proud supporter of American veterans. Thank you to veterans everywhere for your bravery, dedication, and selflessness. And thank you to the students who have chosen to come to FRCC after completing their military careers. We are honored to serve you.

 

About the author:

Andy Dorsey is the President of Front Range Community College. He joined FRCC in 1993, teaching psychology and economics and earning Master Teacher honors in 1999. Before becoming an educator, he worked as a project manager in two businesses, non-profit manager, and legislative director for a Congressman.

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