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Veterans Resource Center (VRC) Project FAQs

What do the campuses get in the grant?

A. The campuses will receive computers and software for assistive computer technology. The HTCTU will provide training directly to the campus on the assistive technology, as well as learning styles and veteran’s issues. In addition, we will provide resources on mental health and wellness, dealing with traumatic brain injury (TBI), and connections to resources in the VA and Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

How much do the campuses have to spend?

A. We hope that setting up the VRC will cost the campus very little. A dedicated space is required, as well as 25 hours of staffing. It is not necessary to hire a staff person, unless the campus wishes to. The staffing could be a rotation of current staff or the assignment of work-study students.

You say that you want the VRC to be open 25 hours a week and to have a veteran in the center 70% of the time. Does that mean the staff must be veterans?

A. The campus can approach these requirements in different ways. The least expensive way might be for the campus to rotate staff through the center for a few hours each week as a portion of their job duties (counselors, admin assistants, financial aid personnel, etc.) and look for veterans who want to volunteer their time. Using work-study students who are veterans is another option. You may also find that the campus has staff who are veterans who would like to assist in keeping the center open.

We are hoping that the campus uses its creativity in coming up with a strategy to meet this stipulation. You might contact local veterans groups and see if a mutually supportive arrangement can be worked out.

What about the furnishings?

A. The experience of campuses that have already set up Veterans Resource Centers is that local businesses and individuals can be approached to provide the furnishings and equipment that is not currently owned by the campus.

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Do we get to keep the equipment?

A. Yes. At the end of the two-year pilot, the computers and software become the property of the campus.

We already have computer equipment that we are using. Can we just get the software and training?

A. Yes. We will work with your campus to install the software.

If we provide our own hardware *and* software, can we just take advantage of the training and other resources?

A. Yes.

We already have a veterans center. Can we still apply?

A. Yes. In addition, centers that would just like the job aids for the assistive technology and other supporting documentation are very welcome to those resources. We hope that current centers might be willing to call themselves Veterans Resource Centers so that there is a consistent name across the California Community College campuses.

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Can more than one campus in a region apply?

A. Absolutely. Part of the award criteria will be geographic distribution of the campuses, but we will look at other aspects, as well, including obtaining a representative sample of small and large campuses, urban and rural, etc.

What is the timeline?

A. We hope to begin notifying campuses that they have been awarded the grants around the middle of May. We will work with each campus to arrange for the transfer of the equipment. On-campus training will begin during the summer with the goal to have the VRCs functional for the fall 2010 term.

Is it really necessary for veterans to have their own center? Doesn’t this duplicate services already offered on campus?

A. Recognition of the need for a dedicated Veterans Resource Center came from talking to the veterans themselves. These returning vets are dealing with many issues, from brain injury to post-traumatic stress, that make it difficult for them to handle aspects of our campus systems that other students take for granted. The intent of the VRC is to create a safe transition zone for returning vets that will help them eventually to integrate into mainstream campus life.

Is the VRC just a hang-out for vets?

A. No. Although camaraderie is an important part of the VRC, equally as important will be a focus on academics and wellness, as well as being a repository of resources and a source of referrals.

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What about working with the veterans administration (VA)?

A. We are in the very earliest stages of negotiating with the VA to see if some of their counselors may be assigned to the VRCs as a way of creating a bridge from the VA to the CCCs.

We don’t want to apply for the grant, but we like the model. Can we just put together a center on our own?

A. Absolutely. Furthermore, our intention is that each center receiving grants will host trainings for their regions. You are welcome to attend those trainings and receive the job aids and other support materials provided.

I would like to see an example of a Veterans Resource Center. Does anyone have one yet?

A. Butte College in Chico, CA, has a very nice VRC that provided much of the inspiration for this project.
Please see their Web site for more information: http://www.butte.edu/services/veterans/vrc.html

Where should the application packet be sent?

The application packet (one original and two copies) should be sent to Gaeir Dietrich at the HTCTU:

VRC Application
High Tech Center Training Unit
21050 McClellan Road
Cupertino, CA 95014
Attn: Gaeir Dietrich

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