By Josh McQueen
“Thank You for Your Service,” is a phrase often heard by every single veteran. Yet, ideally, what honors a veteran’s service is to provide an atmosphere that helps to foster their honor. Veteran’s Upward Bound (VUB) with TRIO at Pensacola State College (PSC) has succeeded in fulfilling its vow to honor veterans and helping them realize their academic potential.
VUB is a military subsidiary under the more national umbrella of TRIO that offers a variety of tools to local vets who are interested about re-entering the college scene. To polish off academic rust, non-credited, developmental classes are provided to help revitalize each veteran’s academic experience.
“Vets like being around other vets. We like the camaraderie ,” said Rob Gregg, Director of VUB. “I liken the [veteran] center to a church. If at any given time, there’s just a bunch of people standing around talking, and they just exchange stories.”
Once the veteran has found their scholastic footing, TRIO takes on the role of advocate in assisting them further.
“Our primary function is to serve as advising,” said Bill Tice, an advisor for the TRIO, Veteran Student Support Services (VSSS) branch. VSSS is the equivalent of Student Support Services but for veterans. “We’re here to help remove obstacles.”
Michele Coger swears by VUB/TRIO. “It’s definitely a 10. I think it gave me a lot of structure,” said the 4- year Navy veteran. “It got me ready for the college environment.”
In addition to being one of the premiere military academic programs in Florida, VUB has since joined the trend of expansions at PSC. This spring semester launched the VUB and TRIO grand opening. The event marked 10 years of assisting veterans and was made possible by federal funding to the sum of $1.2 million.
“It’s an honor for us to be able to provide additional services to veterans,” said PSC President Ed Meadows. “Both of these programs do some of the same things but at different places in a veteran’s college career.”
Much of the excitement surrounding the recent grand opening is grounded in the reallocation of space within the halls of the program. The student lounge was relocated from the front office to far more spacious quarters towards the rear. The computer lab received significant upgrades as well.
Joshua Tallant, a 22-year Air Force veteran who works closely with VUB said, “Veteran’s Upward Bound has helped me in major ways…Math wise, I wasn’t ready for school.” For veterans who are in doubt about their math skills, don’t worry, “100 percent of veterans need the remedial math.”
For every veteran with the prescient vision of bettering themselves through academics, Veteran’s Upward Bound is here to serve you. If you have any question about VUB, please stop by south entrance of Bldg. 6, or contact Robb Gregg at (850) 484-2068.