Three AmeriCorp members will be working at the University of New Mexico Veterans Resource Center (VRC) in 2013, and a fourth at CNM, thanks to a grant recently awarded to the New Mexico College Access Network (CAN).
A first-year pilot program, UNM and CNM are the first entities in New Mexico to receive AmeriCorps members, which according to the National College Advising Corps, is the first program of its kind: a near-peer advisement program for college graduates to mentor and advise current veteran college students.
AmeriCorp members commit to 1,700 hours of service. They provide one-on-one advisement, including referrals to campus and community resources; help navigate GI Bill benefits; support work with UNM enrollment, financial aid and advisement centers, and any additional resources to support student academic success.
Director of UNM Veterans Resource Center Marilyn Dykman said, "We hope this is just the first step in increasing the support our student veterans receive. Our numbers have grown rapidly over the years."
In the 2012 fall semester, UNM main campus had 1,262 identified veterans and military family members utilizing some form of the GI Bill or other military benefits, bringing over $8 million in revenue to UNM.
More veterans are expected to enroll at UNM in the next three years as troops return home and make use of their GI Bill and military education benefits. Dykman said, "Grants received through CAN to support UNM and other educational institutions, help the Veterans Resource Center better serve veterans, military service members, spouses and other family members, and that's the goal."
For more information on the Veteran's CAN program, contact Katherine Oldberg at (505) 345-3344 ext. 13 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org