GCC joins servicemembers’ college consortium

by Jayne Flores, Assistant Director
Guam Community College

Service members, Guam Community College has “got your six.”

GCC has been accepted into the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium for the 2013-2015 membership cycle, based on “its commitment to fair, equitable, and effective policies and practices that recognize and deal with the special conditions faced by military students who want to obtain a college education,” according to GCC’s acceptance letter from the SOC Consortium.

GCC’s SOC Veteran Point of Contact is Retired Colonel Dennis Santo Tomas, who heads the Peace Officer Standards Training, or POST Commission. Ret. Col. Santo Tomas is also the advisor to the newly formed GCC Veteran Students organization. 

“Our service members have given of themselves to their country; it is our duty and our honor at GCC to help them acquire the education and training they will need to be successful in returning to civilian life as well,” said Col. Santo Tomas.

“GCC’s acceptance into the SOC Consortium affirms the college’s commitment to our veterans,” said Dr. Mary Okada, GCC president. “Last year, GCC was one of only 38 career and technical colleges selected for the Military Times’ 2014 Best for Vets list. Given Guam’s high rate of enlistment, we feel it is our duty to assist these soldiers with their post-service educational needs.”

In addition to having a full-time financial aid assistant for veteran students and forming a Veteran Students Organization, GCC has also provided specialized training for over 150 veterans who returned from deployment in January through the cooperative Keep Your Guard Up program. The program is co-sponsored by GCC, the Governor’s Office, the Guam Army National Guard, SHRM, AHRD, and the Guam Department of Labor.

The Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium includes more than 1,700 SOC colleges and universities that offer policies and practices to assist veteran students.

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