Home Local & In-Depth Northeast Lakeview College secures money to build veterans center

Northeast Lakeview College secures money to build veterans center

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The Legislature this year allocated nearly $8 million to help Northeast Lakeview College build a veterans services center. Courtesy photo/Northeast Lakeview College

UNIVERSAL CITY — The Legislature awarded $7.7 million to Northeast Lakeview College to help build a veterans center on campus.

The money for the facility was part of a larger appropriation state lawmakers approved for the Alamo Colleges District during the recent 87th legislative session.

Officials at Northeast Lakeview and elected leaders representing the Randolph Metrocom have long called for developing a local facility dedicated to offering veterans and their families academic and non-academic services.

“As the need for veteran services continues to grow, this stand-alone facility will create the best possible environment to support Northeast Lakeview College student veterans and their families, and provide the opportunity for us to expand and enhance the services we currently offer,” said NLC President Veronica Garcia.

Following NLC’s accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, during the 2017-2018 academic year, the Department of Veteran Affairs first approved the college’s ability to accept federal education benefits.

The next year, Northeast Lakeview certified 1,773 students with military service, a 363% increase from the previous year.  In the 2019-2020 academic year, certifications rose to 1,970 students.

Nearly 30% of students at NLC use veteran benefits, and that number continues to increase. Because of the growth, NLC has been transforming existing campus space to better accommodate students who use veteran services.

Such revamps have included the addition of an intake/welcome area, and expanding office and study space.

Live Oak Mayor Mary Dennis lauded the opportunity for NLC to build its own veterans center. The college is between Live Oak and Universal City.

“This is very exciting news for our region. With so many veterans living here, it will be a great service,” she said. “And not having to travel so far from home will be a plus. In whatever way we can support those who have given so much for us, this will be a welcome service.”

Garcia added, “We are located in one of the fastest-growing regions in the state and with Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph as a neighbor, it is important that we provide quality veteran support services that increase access to education in the communities that we serve.”

State senators Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, and Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, and state Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San Antonio, backed NLC officials’ push for funding to build a stand-alone, one-stop-shop for veterans on campus.

Veterans centers exist elsewhere in ACD at San Antonio College and St. Philip’s College, and Northwest Vista College is planning to build one.

NLC’s veterans center is proposed for construction between the student commons and fine-arts buildings.

The campus, located between Universal City and Live Oak, has been undergoing other projects to facilitate its overall student growth.

Construction workers recently topped out the college’s new STEM — or science, technology, engineering and mathematics — building.

Vets center planned services at a glance

  • Increasing veteran-specific
  • orientations, academic and nonacademic programming
  • Enhancing career planning, training, job-assistance search and transitional services
  • Re-establishing a veteran mentoring program that matches incoming veterans with current students to support the transition process from military life to academia
  • Incorporating private meeting spaces to discuss confidential matters such as disability claims, benefits, veteran-specific advocacy and emergency services, and legal services
  • Offering community space to host organizations and other events supporting veterans such as faculty aid in the classroom, military culture and learning styles.

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