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From service to classroom at Del Mar College - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

From service to classroom at Del Mar College

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Veterans Day is on Saturday, and a lot of Vets really struggle transitioning from military life to student life. Luckily, Del Mar College offers veteran services that are nationally-recognized.

"I think it's really important because a lot of people don't understand how the military works, unless you are in the military,"  said Navy Veteran and student, Jamiela Allen, who is one of at least 600 veterans attending Del Mar College.

Both Del Mar's East and West Campuses offer a fully-staffed Veteran's Center in a relaxed lounge environment.

"It's important for you to give us that space, that it may take a little bit more time to warm up to you. Just because we've been through a lot and we've seen a lot," said Allen.

These centers were opened in 2011, and in 2016, Syracuse University named Del Mar one of the top three colleges in the nation, concerning veterans.

"They can come into these centers to get assistance but also to be around people that speak their language and understand what they are going through," said EJ Goodroe, the center's director.

In the last six years, Del Mar has added seven staff members and multiple work study employees to assist this program.

"They should know the services that are provided because if they need tutoring, a lot of people don't like going to the tutoring center because it can be very crowded in there," said Marie Matlock Navy Vet and 3 year staff member.

The Veteran's Center strives to provide workforce preparation guidance and assistance. Their aim is to help academic, financial, physical, and even social needs.

"Whether it's 'Hey I'm having a difficult time with this test, do you have any advice for this?' or just needing a space to study in general," Goodroe added.

Veterans can find anything from free printing to a private place to sit down and have a meal.

"They come in here and within minutes, you can see the change in demeanor because, it's calmer, it's like minded people, so, it's nice," Matlock added.

In addition to all of the above, Del Mar offers peer to peer monitoring; the college even designed a lapel pin for all faculty and staff vets, so students can, at a glance, identify employees that have "walked in their boots".

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