Veteran Alejandro Navarro with daughter-web

Veteran and single parent Alejandro Navarro hugs his daughter at his 2014 graduation. He was an Outstanding Veteran in 2014, and received associate’s degrees in chemistry, liberal arts science, and had a math emphasis. Image courtesy of the SBCC Veterans Support Program.

There are many in this country who provide military service, working to defend and secure the nation.

But what happens when the service ends, and veterans return to their civilian lives? For many, higher education is an opportunity to pursue other passions, or build on the skills learned during their tours of duty.

Community college is a natural first step, providing veterans with the opportunity to re-engage with learning, as they settle back with their families and into their communities.

Established in 1974, the SBCC Veterans Support Program provides one-on-one support, assisting veterans as they apply to SBCC, register for classes, and maneuver through the financial aid system. Program participants are also able to utilize counseling and tutoring resources, and to connect with other student veterans for peer support and mentorship.

Military Times EDGE has ranked Santa Barbara City College sixth in the nation for being one of the most veteran friendly colleges in the United States. Much of this is due to the Veterans Support Program.

Currently, more than 300 veterans are enrolled at SBCC, with more than 200 veterans and their dependents directly receiving benefits. Funding from SBCC Foundation donors does not just support the Veterans Resource Center, but also provides for book grants and scholarships. Because of donors like you, student veterans are able to transition into academic life, ultimately moving forward with new career and life options.