Citrus College has adopted President Barack Obama’s “8 Keys to Success” initiative, integrating the principles – which aim to promote student veterans’ educational success – into the college’s established and highly recognized Veterans Program.
The Citrus College Veterans Program, which includes a specialized and widely acclaimed Veterans Center, has a longstanding history of creating a welcoming environment and providing critical academic support and instructional services to military personnel and their families.
The Obama administration’s “8 Keys to Success” national initiative lays the groundwork for programs at colleges and universities across the country to provide veterans and military families with a high-quality, affordable education, and will replicate the work being done at Citrus College. The specific steps include the following:
1. Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans.
2. Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.
3. Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.
4. Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size).
5. Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans.
6. Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion.
7. Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.
8. Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans.
“I am proud to say that Citrus College was already implementing many of these concepts before hearing of President Obama’s call to action,” said Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Ph.D. “It is a great privilege to be a leader in the movement to truly support and encourage our student veteran population as they transition from military service to the classroom.”
More than 300 student veterans are currently enrolled at Citrus College, where they have a multitude of services available to them through its Veterans Program and Veterans Center, including support counseling, tutoring and G.I. Bill information. The program was established in 2006.
G.I. Jobs magazine recently designated Citrus College as a Military Friendly School for the fourth consecutive year, ranking the college among the top 15 percent of all higher education institutions in the nation providing the most academic, financial and counseling support to veterans.
In 2010, Citrus College became one of only 15 colleges and universities in the nation to receive a $400,000 Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand the program.“Citrus College has been a consistent trailblazer in providing support services to returning veterans, service members and their families through innovative transitional programs that foster student achievement,” said Dr. Patricia Rasmussen, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees.