California has one of the largest veteran populations conservatively estimated at over two million people. Given the recent massive budget cuts in the U.S. Department of Defense and significant decreases in deployments, the number of veterans returning to civilian life and entering California's institutions of higher education is projected to increase significantly with community colleges absorbing the largest number of students. With the increase in veteran student enrollment, Citrus College understands the importance of meeting the needs of this unique population that has sacrificed so much.
The Veterans Success Center facilitates direct services by filling a significant gap offered by the VA and local resources by offering assistance to veterans who are in distress and who might otherwise forgo seeking help. The Veterans Success Center provides a wraparound holistic approach to serving veterans and their families. By offering mental health services in a centralized "one-stop shop" model, veterans and their families are able to access assistance as needed, receiving help sooner than the 30-90 day wait period at the VA. Given that many of these families face significant barriers to gaining access to proper mental health care and educational transitional support services, distressed veterans and their families are more likely to be assessed and receive intervention in a relevant time frame.
One of the biggest issues facing combat veterans is social isolation. Many of combat veterans have difficulty adjusting to civilian life, especially adjusting to college. We have over 500 veterans on campus, most have just recently returned from Iraq (OIF) or Afghanistan (OEF).
The Veterans Success Center provides a relaxing place for them to meet, receive the latest veteran benefits information, coordinate with the Veterans Network (club), hold workshops, meet with veterans service organizations, and allows the staff to more easily manage the veterans services from one central location.
Citrus College was the first college in nation to offer a transferable three unit transitional course for veterans. The Veterans Success Center, centrally located on campus, is a natural extension of the service provided to our veteran students. Our center is state-of-the-art in services and atmosphere.
Funding for the Veterans Success Center has come from our Walmart grant, the U.S. Department of Education FIPSE grant, the Ahmanson Foundation, the Ludwick Family Foundation, local and community businesses, and charitable gifts from many individuals.
All are welcome to checkout the center anytime. See how we treat our brave men and women who have served our great nation in war and in peace. We stand ready to help those who have served transition back to civilian life.
The Veterans Success Center provides:
- "GI Bill" processing and information
- Personal counseling available
- VeteransSuccesson Campus/VOC Rehab
- Student Veterans Network
- Counseling 161 - Strategies for College Success: Veterans' Emphasis
- Peer to peer support groups for student veterans
- Veteran organization contacts/resources
The Veterans Success Center at Citrus College is something for our community to be proud of.
Location: IC Building, between the ED Building to the west and the LB Building to the east
Veterans Success Center Staff:
Monica Christianson, Ph.D. : director/support counseling
Phone: (626) 852-6457
David Rodriguez : academic counselor
Phone: (626) 852-6421
Sheila Hatfield: certifying official
Phone: (626) 852-6421