Veterans Showcase CSUF Outreach Services
Titan Trio Present Experiences at College Board Conferences in Chicago
May 3, 2013
After eight years as an Army officer in South Korea and Iraq, Maribel Ramos knows what it’s like to transition from military life to college student life.
She receives her bachelor’s degree later this month, and credits Cal State Fullerton’s Veterans Student Services for getting her there.
The road was not easy, Ramos, 36, told a room full of educators at the College Board’s Prepárate and A Dream Deferred conferences in Chicago this week. Ramos was on a panel with fellow student veteran, Hidy E. Aguilar, and alumna Brenda S. Estrada ’99, ’11 (B.S. human services, M.S. education), CSUF’s veteran certification officer.
“I was diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and because of the Student Veteran Center, I was able to get counseling, mentoring and a referral for other help from the campus Disabled Student Services,” Ramos said.
“I was uncomfortable at first,” Ramos added about her transition to college life. “The other students were not my age, they didn’t understand my journey, and one professor, who knew I was a veteran, seemed hostile when the topic of war came up in class."
The Titan trio all agreed that educators ought to become aware of the obstacles student veterans face, be patient and offer referrals to support services.
Estrada said CSUF offers services in various ways in an effort to reach out to all 500 enrolled veterans.
“We begin by providing advising on how to get into Cal State Fullerton through the Veteran Certification Office, and we continue with assistance on the application process,” she said. “Once the veterans arrive as entering students, we work to ensure that they have specific contacts in each key office on campus so that they feel at ease, and we offer guidance to prepare them to graduate and become successful in their future careers.”
G.I. Jobs Magazine includes CSUF in its 2013 Military-Friendly Schools List of academic institutions that do the most to support military students.
“Cal State Fullerton has been actively making inroads to serve the wave of returning veterans, and the College Board was pleased to showcase some of CSUF’s outreach work to this important student population,” said Adriana Flores-Ragade, senior director of diversity initiatives at the College Board.
By: Mimi Ko Cruz, 657-278-7586