Students, faculty excited for new Veterans Services Center

By Gregory McDowell

For years, Glendale Community College has been marked for its very positive reputation for enrolling American military veterans to better themselves through education. They have recently gotten funding approval and are going through the process of get building approval so they can expand the Veterans Services Center.

The facility will not change buildings. The VSC temporarily relocated to Life Science Annex Room 153 to continue services while the original building is being upgraded and expanded, once the final approval goes through. The transition was initially approved just after Jan. 4. The building will be expanding to fill the remainder of the grass area between it and the Dr. Joe Griego counseling services center, north of the Student Union.

“We hope to have it finished by, or before, Veterans Day of 2016,” Leslie Bayless, one of the counselor/advisers at the Veterans Services Center on campus, said. “The facility will not simply be larger, it will be more organized; the counselors and advisors will have their own offices, the veterans will have a larger area to wait in, that will be better equipped. The previous lobby and lounge has had numerous people standing and waiting during busier hours; we’re looking forward to having the extra room,” Bayless, said.

The added facility space will also allow the center to process the additional veterans to use the regular counseling center that the school has already.

“I’ve been going to the school [Glendale Community College] for a few years, the vets center has always taken good care of me and a few friends, but the extra space will most definitely be a welcome change,” Shaun Miller, a United States Army Infantry Combat Veteran and GCC student, said.

Veterans, often have trouble reintegrating into civilian life and going to civilian schools. While civilian schools, both online and on the ground, are readily available to service members while on active duty; the turbulence of reintegration is somewhat awkward and daunting when attending school after exiting the military completely.

The students and faculty working at the center are willing to assist and make the process efficient and painless.

Whether it’s as simple as getting one’s education together, or needing some extra assistance, becoming integrated into civilian life after short or longer military service, the Veterans Services Center here on campus is a valuable resource. Veterans bring a great deal of diversity and experience to the campus and community and the services they get are invaluable. The upgrade is welcomed and deserved, by both the staff and patrons of the Veterans Services Center.

More information can be found about the service center at http://www.gccaz.edu/veterans.

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