Organizers spreading awareness for free program to help veterans in college

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A federal program is bringing awareness to its free services for veterans who are transitioning to higher education.

Veterans Upward Bound is a federally-funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that is designed to motivate and assist veterans in the development of the required skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education.

Organizers say the program provides counseling, mentoring, tutoring, and academic instruction in the core subject areas. Since the program is federally-funded, there is no out-of-pocket expense for any of the services.

The services they provide include benefit application assistance, school selection comparison, academic skills development, academic program research, financial aid assistance, admissions assistance, transcript requests, financial literacy, and test preparation.

Officials say there are three Veterans Upward Bound offices across the state, but they work with nearly every higher education institution in the state.

VUB locations in Oklahoma are as follows:

  • Redlands Community College (405)422-1451
  • East Central University (580) 559-5541
  • University of Central Oklahoma (405) 974-3686.

The Veteran Upward Bound program at Redlands Community College in El Reno serves approximately 125 veterans each year. In this service, the program offers academic and career assessment, career guidance and exploration, study skills and classroom reintegration, short-term refresher courses, preparation for GED testing, and college academic advising.

“Redlands Community College Veterans Upward Bound program covers veterans in 14 different counties. One of our objectives is to get veterans into a college, university, or career technology school,” said Roy Martin, director of Redlands’ Veterans Upward Bound. “We do not limit veterans on where they can attend because we want them comfortable and find their fit.”

The program assesses the cost of the institution, including books, fees, parking, travel to and from the attending campus, any special training or needs the veteran may have and whether the institution can accommodate the veteran with these and many other mitigating circumstances the veteran may need.

“We first heard about S.E.E.4VETS at a national VUB conference in Denver. Our director at the time contacted Ray Torres about our interest in the organization,” said Martin. “Both parties came to an agreement for the donation from S.E.E.4VETS to Redlands Community College.”

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