Del Mar College has been named a “Military Friendly School” for the fourth year in a row.
The award is given out to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom after graduation, according to Victory Media.
Over the years Del Mar has built facilities and programs to reach its veteran personnel and students on campus, said Tammy Micallef, director of Del Mar College Veterans Services.
Del Mar has about 1,000 veterans enrolled each semester, according to the department.
Both East and West campuses have a full-time staff at the veteran centers and veteran resource centers.
“Both our resource centers have computers and printers,“ Micallef said. “They also have a mini kitchen, room for group study and a lounge area to watch TV.”
Some veteran students have taken advantage of the resource centers.
“Being a commuter student it’s great having this center,” said Margarito Zuniga, biology major. “Instead of having to sit in my car and run the air conditioning, I can come in here and hang out.”
The Veterans Center offers more than just a comfortable spot for veterans to lounge between classes. They also offer a program were vets can check out books instead of having to buy them.
Instead of selling their books back veterans are able to give their books to the center for other veterans to rent out, said Leo Cortez, Veterans Center operator.
Both resource centers also offer free services for veterans.
“They offer free peer tutors for vets,” Micallef said. “If there is not a tutor available to help with certain subjects they work with the Student Success Center to find someone to come to help the veteran.”
The resource centers also have an advocacy program to help solve any potential problems between students and teachers.
Veterans Services is working with other departments to make the process easier for vets.
“Our center is working to become a one-stop shop for our vets,” Micallef said. They are doing this by working directly with the business and registrar offices.
Del Mar has also started using a new program this fall called College Credit for Heroes. The program is to help veterans get more college credits by transferring their non-traditional military credits into college credits, Micallef said.
The Veterans Center tries to help veterans whenever possible but may direct them toward other agencies when required.
“We liaise with VA (Veterans Administration) on behalf of the students so if they have pay conflicts or pay issues we can help them with that, but if they have specific question on amounts they will be receiving from the VA they need to contact the VA,” Micallef said.
For more information about Veterans Services, contact Micallef at email@example.com.