A life following military service can be a trying transition for some, and Lorain County Community College is providing aid to those who offered up themselves in service to our country.
The Veteran Education Services, located on the second floor of the College Center of the LCCC campus, is a one-stop shop for former and current military service men and women to begin their post-military educational journey. The office that is run by student workers who come from a military background, and is overseen by Dr. Bruce Weigl, distinguished professor, who was recently appointed as the director of Veterans Services for LCCC. Weigl has found that veterans feel most comfortable when speaking with other veterans, which is why he has made it a priority to staff his office with veteran student workers.
Weigl comes from a military background himself having served as a Forward Commander and Intelligence Specialist in the Army during the Vietnam War between 1967 and 1968, before leaving the Army in 1970 to attend school at LCCC and eventually becoming a professor of Arts and Humanities on campus.
“We’re trying to centralize the whole operation,” Weigl said when speaking about the Veteran Services office, “I wanted students to be able to walk in the door and do everything they needed to do.” The office has what they call “The Process”, a step-by-step list for veteran students that takes them from their admission application, to financial aid assistance, orientation, all the way to their first day in the classroom. Students can even receive credit for skills obtained during their time in service through a process called PLA (Prior Learning Assessment).
“Military service can be traumatizing, particularly combat service,” Weigl said. “We’re not trying to coddle or give special treatment to these students, just trying to aid in their transition to a civilian life, which they deserve.”
While the campus office focuses primarily on the educational side of services for veterans and active military, they do have resources in which they can supply to veteran students, including the Veterans Crisis Line and Veterans Benefits Administration.
Weigl is trying to reach out to the community more in his new positon, he emphasizes that LCCC is a community college and that the two should be involved with one another. Students and community members can attend the Suicide Walk, held every May on campus, an event in which over 150 people attended in 2017. LCCC and the Veterans Service Office will also be at an all-veterans event being held on September 10 at the Black River Landing at 421 Black River Lane in Lorain.
Weigl’s ultimate plan in his time as director is to ensure that students veterans get due what is coming to them, and that they receive the full college experience. “My goal is to get veterans to graduate from college, these are kids who have made a great sacrifice in defense of values that we all find important.”
For more information, contact the Veteran Education Services at (440) 366-7585 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.