Santa Ana, Calif. – Santa Ana College’s Veterans Resource Center recently announced it has received a five-year United States Department of Education Veterans Upward Bound grant. As the only higher education institution in California to receive funds this year, the $263,938 annual award will serve veterans in Orange County through SAC’s SOCAL Veterans – College Bound! program.
A 2015 study by the University of California, The Orange County Veterans Study, revealed that 43 percent of veterans identified employment and education assistance as their top priority, and found a gap in regional service programs, as veterans are more focused on securing basic and critical needs: housing, food, health care and mental health services, and according to the most recent US Census, there are 25,865 Orange County veterans who have not enrolled in postsecondary education and 7,090 who live below the federal poverty level. SOCAL Veterans – College Bound! will serve 625 veterans – 125 each year for five years – and assist them with obtaining skills necessary for acceptance and success in secondary education through counseling, mentoring, tutoring and instruction in core subjects: math through pre-calculus, lab science, foreign language, composition and literature.
Veterans will receive assessments, individualized instructional and support services, career exploration, financial literacy and planning, veterans’ educational benefits advisement and assistance, college scholarship application assistance, mentors and college tours as part of their enrollment in the three-six month intensive and comprehensive college-readiness program.
More than 6,000 veterans who have recently completed their military service settle in Orange County each year. Targeted outreach and recruitment efforts through SOCAL Veterans – College Bound! will proactively partner with local military bases to present the program at resource fairs and service member exit orientations, as well as partner with Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation Program Counselors to conduct presentations during their weekly veteran orientations.
Program participants will also receive continued support after program completion to facilitate their transition into postsecondary enrollment and connect them to support services at the college where they enroll to ensure the completion of a degree program. The SOCAL Veterans – College Bound! program hopes that 70 percent of the veterans it serves will improve their academic performance, 80 percent will complete the program, 65 percent of veterans who complete the program will enroll in postsecondary education by the end of the following year and 40 percent of those who complete the program will complete a degree within six years.
For more information on SAC’s SOCAL Veterans – College Bound! program contact Brenda Estrada, 714-564-6134.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.
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