The Veterans Center at Salt Lake Community College serves the largest population of student veterans in the state, and a second center will open next spring to give veterans more access to services.
With somewhere between 1,200 and 1,300 veterans enrolled during fall or spring semester, Veterans Services director Darlene Head knows all of the services and support offered to veterans to help them overcome common stumbling blocks.
“If we don’t have the resource here — I’ve been here 33 years — I can assist the veterans in finding it,” Head says.
Veterans Services has pioneered many programs now offered at the center and is considered a “success story” by Veterans Affairs.
Darlene was quick to point out that the center is not just for veterans utilizing their education benefits, but is a place for all veterans and their dependents.
SLCC was among the first in the nation to run the VetSuccess program, and veteran service counselors from other schools often seek training at SLCC.
With a visit this past week by a Naval Rear Admiral, it is clear that Veterans Services gathers national attention.
President Deneece Huftalin championed the need for the center while she was Vice President of Student Services in 2007. SLCC was the first school in Utah to have a Veterans Services center.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our administration,” Head says.
Veteran Services offers a variety of services that may not be known to veterans and their dependents.
These students are provided with a cap and gown upon graduation, complete with special red, white and blue honor cord.
For those who might be struggling to assimilate to a classroom setting or are coping with a new disability, Veterans Services can assess a veteran’s need and help accommodate them in the classroom when possible.
While all this has traditionally been managed through the main office, a second center is set to open at South City Campus in spring 2016.
The new center will feature a lounge, computers with printing costs covered by Veterans Services, as well as staff to help educate veterans on what is available to them.
The cumulative years of experience offered from the staff can point to services that the average veteran might never find out on their own.
All veterans and dependents are encouraged to stop by the Veterans Center in room 059 of the Student Center at Taylorsville Redwood Campus or call 801-957-4289 to learn more.