Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
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QUEENS COLLEGE INAUGURATES VETERANS SUPPORT SERVICES
FLUSHING, N.Y., February 29, 2008 – On February 27, the school held an Open House to inaugurate Veterans Support Services at Queens College (VSS at QC), a comprehensive program that helps veterans and reservists adapt to academic life.
“Our veterans and members of the reserves are an important part of the college who bring to this campus a unique perspective that enriches us all,” said Queens College President James Muyskens, addressing the crowd gathered in Room 403 of the Student Union and alluding to his special guest, World War II veteran Arnold Franco ’43. “From now on, with our Veterans Support Services program, we are going to see that they have all the assistance they need, be it advice on choosing a course of study, career and personal guidance, help with physical problems, or just a sympathetic ear to listen to their concerns.”
Implemented at the behest of CUNY, which created an Office of Veterans Affairs, VSS at QC unites seven departments: the Academic Advising Center, Career Development and Internships, the College Counseling and Resource Center, Continuing Education Program, Health Services Center, Special Services and the Registrar. Each office boasts a specially-trained liaison familiar with veterans’ education benefits and services, whether they’re available on campus or off. The holistic approach is designed to reduce red tape and help a unique group of students make the most of their education.
“Returning veterans, who have multiple needs, require specialized support to adapt to college life,” says Special Services director Mirian Detres-Hickey. “We developed this consolidated approach to make sure that the veterans take full advantage of the benefits due them to provide guidance and a sense of community as they reenter civilian life in an academic setting.”
This support begins as soon as individuals are accepted to Queens College, and continues throughout their college experience. “After veterans and reservists are admitted to Queens College, the Academic Advising Center will offer guidance that is attentive to their needs,” says Laura Silverman, director of the center. “At the same time, we’ll ensure that the advice we give is consistent with the policies governing the eligibility and maintenance of their educational benefits.”
Services provided through VSS at QC include educational benefits coordination, career development, and academic advising and educational planning to maintain veterans’ benefits. Short-term personal counseling, campus and community referrals, and health and wellness services are also available. Continuing education certificate and non-certificate courses are open to vets. Disabled veterans may avail themselves of an Assistive Technology Lab and a Laptop Lending Program with specialized software. For more information, please visit http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/Advising/pages/SpecialPrograms/COACHOR/VSS.html