Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) soon will change the way it serves its military veteran students.
The college recently received a grant through the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $468,000 over three years to establish a Center of Excellence for Veterans Student Success.
More than 600 veterans currently are enrolled at ECTC.
The center will provide coordinated, comprehensive support services to meet the academic, social, financial, and physical needs of student veterans. It will complement existing efforts by the college’s Veterans Affairs office, which processes veterans when they enroll and ensures they receive military educational benefits, and the Office of Student Accessibility, which works closely with disabled veteran students to coordinate necessary accommodations.
“The Center of Excellence for Veterans Student Success will be a one-stop shop,” said Dr. Dale Buckles, dean of student affairs. “It will provide academic advising, tutoring, mentoring, and career planning services through the Kentucky Career Network, and it will help to establish veteran student organizations on our campuses to provide additional support.”
Veterans also will be provided a gathering place at the center where they can wait for appointments, study, take breaks between classes and connect with other veterans on campus. Additional programming will foster community and campus awareness and help bolster recruitment of veterans to postsecondary education.
In collaboration with community agencies, the center will provide materials and information about resources to help with nonacademic needs such as housing, financial assistance, mental health counseling, and others. Partners include the Lincoln Trail Area Development District, Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health, Fort Knox, the Kentucky Housing Authority, and others.
“Ultimately, the goal of the program is to expand educational opportunities for veterans and to support their pursuit of academic, professional, and personal success,” said Dr. Thelma J. White, president/CEO of ECTC. “Our veteran students deserve all the support we can give them. We are pleased and excited to be able to offer these enhanced support services to help our veteran students succeed.”