SUMTER, SC — Central Carolina Technical College was recently awarded a federal Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) grant for $1.3 million. The Veterans Upward Bound program is designed to prepare, motivate and assist veterans in the development of academic and other skills necessary for acceptance into and success in a program of postsecondary education. The program will serve 125 veterans per year from Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter counties at a cost of $263,938 per year for five years for a total of $1,319,690.* This program will also fund the following new staff positions: Veteran Transition Counselor, Veteran Academic Counselor, Administrative Specialist and four part-time Teaching Assistants. The grant will also fund expanding the existing Veterans Resource Center, college and cultural exploration activities and provide small stipends to veterans who complete various program components.
The Veterans Resource Center (VRC) is dedicated to providing the highest quality support to student veterans, active duty military personnel, and dependents of active duty and veterans in an atmosphere that provides commitment and respect, and fosters camaraderie while stimulating academic excellence. CCTC’s VRC provides support with career services, academic and life skills workshops, tutoring, and a wealth of available college and community resources. Some of the resources available to military-affiliated students are referral services regarding VA benefits, G.I. Bills and community veterans organizations as well as workshops in areas such as learning styles, test preparation, note taking, time management and stress management.
CCTC has ample financial aid resources available to military students. Active Duty military and their family members are afforded in-state tuition status, which makes them eligible for a variety of grants and scholarships. In the college’s four-county service area there is a total population of 222,754 people, including 21,516 (10%) veterans. More than half of these veterans reside in Sumter County, the location of the college’s Main Campus, where the VUB offices will be located. Sumter County has the largest veteran population percentage of any South Carolina county at 15.5% (Census, 2015). However, the disadvantaged academic and economic setting poses numerous challenges in meeting veteran needs. VUB will address these barriers and improve college readiness, access, selection and degree completion for veterans.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to better serve the veterans of our community. The Veteran Upward Bound grant provides much needed funding for CCTC to partner with local VA offices, veteran-related service agencies and postsecondary partners to link veterans to educational and personal resources. Our goal is to assist veterans in reaching their personal, academic and financial goals,” says Vice President for Student Affairs Lisa Bracken.
*100% of the Veterans Upward Bound grant is Federally funded. There is no funding provided by non-governmental sources.