VA Cites COD for Veterans Services
By Jennifer Duda
Recognized for its efforts to help returning veterans seeking higher education, College of DuPage has been named the first community college recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.
The award highlights the work of Illinois colleges and universities whose veteran services exceed basic offerings, and whose accomplishments in veteran-friendly programs significantly impact the overall experience of the student veteran community. Click here to see photos from the award reception.
"College of DuPage is very proud to be the first community college to receive this award," said College of DuPage Board Chairman David Carlin. "These individuals served our country and it is only fitting that we do our part to help them reach their higher education goals. To that end, we will continue to provide innovative programming and effective service to these brave men and women.
The College's Veteran Services offers financial aid assistance, the VA work study program, a dedicated student veterans lounge, referrals for specialized veterans counseling, and social and educational programs. Additionally, College of DuPage hosts job fairs and pre-job fair workshops to help veterans seeking employment.
"More than one thousand veterans annually turn to College of DuPage to achieve their educational goals. This prestigious award is a testament to the College's commitment to providing accessible, affordable educational opportunities, as well as a strong support system, to this group of students," said College of DuPage President Robert L. Breuder.
Citing the College's long-standing commitment to veteran services and helping students transition from active service to civilian life, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Erica Borggren applauded COD leaders for recognizing veteran students as assets not only to the College, but greater community as well.
"The College answered the call of this unique group long before it was required, illustrating a commitment to all facets of the returning veteran experience," she said. "Through its programs and services, College of DuPage has had a substantial impact on veterans and their families, fostering an atmosphere of respect for those men and women who have served our country."
In addition to the services it provides veteran students, College of DuPage is the first in Illinois to offer a Veterans Counseling certificate. The nine-course, 26 credit-hour certificate program is funded through a Congressional grant from the U.S. Department of Education and provides specialized training for individuals working with veterans. The certificate is aimed at both students who are interested in working with veterans in social service settings and practicing clinicians already employed in the field. The College launched an online-based version of the program this spring, making it easily accessible to non-district residents.
For more information on the College's Veterans Services, visit: www.cod.edu/admission/veterans/index.aspx.
Pictured: Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Erica Borggren presents College of DuPage President Robert L. Breuder with a proclamation from Governor Pat Quinn during a recognition event Monday, June 11, at the College.