Supporting the troops on campus

Coastline Community College is expanding its services to student veterans and active duty members by opening a resource center exclusive to them.

The new Veterans Resource Center (VRC) is expected to open Friday at the college's Fountain Valley campus, 11460 Warner Ave.

The center will offer student veterans a variety of services, including evaluation of military credit for college credit, mental health and disabled service referrals, employment and housing referrals, assistance with veterans affairs paperwork and peer support, said Dean of Military Programs Joycelyn Groot.

The veterans center is expected to be the hub of information for veterans on a variety of services from GI Bill certification and financial aid to work-study and transfer assistance.

The program will not only gather resources available to veteran students on campus, but also link them to services that may be available to them in the community and nationwide, Groot said.

"For Coastline, the top reason to choose us is because we're familiar with the military education area," she said.

The resource center is one of three goals the school developed this year after its administration realized that Coastline is popular among student veterans and active service members.

The other two goals are to enhance the website to better serve the students and establish a student Veterans of America organization chapter on campus, Groot said.

The school has reached all three goals. But this is only the start, Groot said.

"First and foremost, Coastline believes in serving those who make our lives possible," Groot said. "We can never do as much as they have done for us."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Friday. California Secretary of Veterans Affairs Peter J. Gravett and Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) are scheduled to speak.

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