Aurora is pleased to announce its first grant of 2013 to Georgia Perimeter College, a multi-site campus with its main campus in Clarkston, GA. The grant will be used to create the “Green Zone” Program throughout its campuses. GPC, a school of over 23,000 students, is unique in that it offers mostly associates degree programs to its students. Since the Post 9/11 GI Bill has gone into effect, GPC has seen an increase in the students who want to come back to school – many student veterans begin with an associates degree, and transfer into a 4-year school or use their associates to enter the workforce.
In 2010, GPC’s Military Outreach Initiative began as a pilot program funded by a grant through the University System of Georgia. The original goal of the MOI was to develop activities that helped students ease their transition from military to civilian life. Aurora’s Green Zone Grant will be officiated through the Military Outreach Initiative Office, located on the Clarkston campus but supported via satellite resource centers throughout the college community. The state of Georgia has over 765,000 veterans between the ages of 20-34, and GPC is currently reaching 700 of those student veterans.
The goal of GPC’s Green Zone Program will be to “increase faculty, staff and students’ awareness of common issues confronting military students; to continue building a college-wide network of compassionate allies and support systems for student veterans as they pursue their educational goals and re-integrate into society.” The program will use the original Green Zone presentation material developed by VCU, and will host six training groups throughout the year, starting with those who work first with military students including Office of Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Life. Additional training will be offered through an online, interactive program for GPC personnel and online instructors.
The proposed goal/outcome for the Green Zone Program is to certify at least 250 faculty, staff, and students annually for two years. After one full year of training and implementing the Green Zone Program, college retention will be measured using a course completion ratio: ratio of hours successfully completed to hours attempted. This metric being used for Complete College Georgia (GA’s response to Complete College America).
In support of Aurora’s mission to enable student veterans to successfully graduate from college and enter the workforce, Aurora offers grants to higher education institutions to support the student veteran population. Aurora has given grants for faculty training and awareness of veterans issues, one-stop shop resources for veterans on campus, veteran-only curriculum, peer-to-peer mentorship, and other needs identified by schools. The Foundation also assists student veterans with the identification of full-time, paid internship opportunities in various fields and industries. Student veterans have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in their areas of interest and gain insight into the civilian workforce. To date, the Aurora Foundation has graduated interns in a variety of industries including National Security, Finance/Banking, Law, IT, and Marketing. To learn how you can apply for a grant, an internship or to sponsor one of our student veterans, please contact Ellen Hembree, at info@Aurora4vets.org.