COLLEGE OF THE DESERT TO OPEN VETERANS RESOURCE CENTER
Full-Service Facility Made Possible Through BIGHORN Golf Club Charities Donation
College of the Desert (COD) will officially open the doors to its brand new BIGHORN Golf Club Charities Veterans Resource Center, with a ribbon cutting and Veterans Day ceremony on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 10 am on the east lawn of the campus’s Cravens Student Services Center, 43-500 Monterey Avenue in Palm Desert.
The ceremony will feature a presentation by Dr. C. Douglass Kroll, Professor of History, and tours of the new Center will be available. BIGHORN Golf Club Charities donated $150,000 to help to fund design, construction, furniture, fixtures, and technology for the 1,000 square foot, full-service facility for veterans.
“One of the primary issues facing combat veterans is the social isolation they feel when they return,” said Jim Hummer, assistant to the president and executive director of the COD Foundation. “Many veterans have difficulty adjusting to civilian life, much less adjusting to the academic rigor and social atmosphere of an active college campus. Our Resource Center will provide a safe and welcoming environment for military veterans and their dependants to receive information about VA benefits, academic and counseling support, and peer to peer camaraderie.”
The Resource Center will house two offices, a reception desk, a study/tutoring area, four computer stations, a lounge area with flat panel television, and access to a printer, copier, and fax machine. The Center will provide easy access to all major student service areas such as Admissions & Records, Financial Aid, the Bookstore, Health Services, and several other special programs. The COD Foundation is working to raise $300,000 for a mental health specialist, academic and job placement counselor, and other necessary equipment and services.
Through its Veterans Affairs Program, COD currently provides enrolled veterans and their dependants with access to an Admissions & Records Veterans Specialist, who gives information and guidance with regard to accessing military benefits for educational purposes and basic academic advisement with regard to degree and graduation requirements.
According to Donni Prince, COD Veterans Services Coordinator, the number of veterans turning to the college for education, training and re-training has doubled in the last five years. Colleges across the nation are experiencing similar increases in numbers because of the drawdown in the military and challenging economy. There are more than 400 veterans who currently attend COD.
BIGHORN Golf Club Charities is a 501c 3 focused on funding college scholarships, as well as providing valuable educational opportunities, including English as a Second Language, and specialty service classes within the Coachella Valley. The organization was formed by members of BIGHORN Golf Club to support area students in the pursuit of higher education, while also helping to meet the needs of service and maintenance workers who want to enrich their skills. Since 2007, many BIGHORN members have joined the cause, funding hundreds of scholarships, countless donations, and assisting nearly 1,400 Coachella Valley residents.
The mission of COD Foundation is to enhance the quality of higher education in the Coachella Valley, and encourage public and private support for College of the Desert. Endowment funds raised by the Foundation will provide educational income to support scholarships, textbooks, classroom technology upgrades, faculty positions, equipment, and other programs. COD Foundation has raised more than $35 million dollars to support student services, and manages endowments and other assets of more than $20 million dollars.
For more information about ways to help College of the Desert Foundation, call (760) 773-2561.