Cabrillo College Veterans Information Center

In spring 2011, Cabrillo opened its first Veterans Information Center (VIC) in a small space in the lower level of the 900 building.  The center was staffed entirely with Veterans Affairs (VA) work-study students, based on the premise of veterans serving veterans.  Congressman Sam Farr, a member of the Houses Committee on Veterans Affairs, formally opened the center. 

In spring 2012, the VIC moved to a much larger space in room 914.  Donations from System Studies and the Simpkins family funded 8 computers and other equipment to provide an inviting space for student veterans to study and receive services.  The center is still run by three VA work-study students.  The college's Veterans Certifying Officer and a veterans-designated Counselor spend a limited amount of time in the center each week.  EDD’s Veteran Services, the Santa Cruz County Veterans Advocate and counselors from the Vet Center on 41st Avenue are also on site at least once a month during the school year.

In summer 2013, Cabrillo signed on to be part of President Obama’s 8 Keys to Veteran Success program.  We do not have all 8 keys in place at this time; however, we do have a pretty good start on implementing them. The keys to facilitation of Veterans Success on Campus are:

  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 the 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
  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 student 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