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Veterans Upward Bound Program at CSU-Pueblo renewed for five years with $1.3 million

Release Date: September 13, 2017

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


Veterans Upward Bound Program at CSU-Pueblo renewed for five years with $1.3 million

PUEBLO -- Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program has been awarded a five-year grant of more than $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Education to improve college access and preparing veterans for success in postsecondary studies.

For the 2017-18 year, the CSU-Pueblo grant will total more than $260,000. CSU-Pueblo has offered an Upward Bound program since 2002, equipping veterans with critical skills necessary to thrive and succeed in postsecondary education, as well as supporting them through any require remedial coursework. Services are provided annually to 125 eligible U.S. military veterans who have expressed the interest and commitment necessary exploring higher education, preparing and excelling in college. The services focus on year-round academic and social support, college preparation, financial literacy, connecting participants with veteran resources, mentoring, college/career exploration, assistance with the application process and community experiences.

Eligible participants (who may include veterans who are homeless, low income, or unemployed) are selected during outreach throughout, southeastern Colorado where a large percentage of the lowest income and poorly educated population of veterans statewide reside.

VUB has fully staffed offices at Pueblo Community College and Pikes Peak Community College in addition to CSU-Pueblo. Services begin with an in-depth assessment of a veteran’s needs, looking holistically at personal circumstances and strengths in order to determine the best academic path for the veteran, whether it is vocational, community college, or a four-year institution. VUB offers assistance with college applications, campus visits, completing paperwork, veteran’s benefits and anything else that veterans require to successfully access higher education.

Academic services for pre-college students focus on classes at each campus covering basic math skills, English, science and computer science. Classes are structured help build confidence and basic skills so students can either score higher on entrance exams or prepare for upcoming coursework. Workshops and seminars also are offered covering transition issues, basic college information, personal branding, note taking and other academic related material.

Participants already in school can receive academic tutoring for all remedial courses. Additionally, VUB acts advocates for participants on each campus, when needed. Every participant also is provided with an assessment of the students' awareness about and use of learning and study strategies related to skill, will and self-regulation components of strategic learning. The focus is on both covert and overt thoughts, behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that relate to successful learning which often can be altered through educational interventions. If interventions are required, the VUB staff will work with the individual to improve their success. Each participant receives an individualized academic and career plan which tracks progress and makes adjustments based on information from transcripts and personal interviews.

All Veterans Upward Bound program activities and services are free to qualifying veteran enrolled in the program. All staff are veterans, and apply the program motto, Vets helping vets.

For an application, contact one of three locations: Jacobo Varela at CSU-Pueblo 719-549-2824, Kevin Walda at Pikes Peak Community College 719-502-4020, and Shawn Gibson at Pueblo Community College 719-549-3077.  

 Colorado State University - Pueblo is committed to excellence, setting the standard for regional comprehensive universities in teaching, research, and service by providing leadership and access for its region, while maintaining its commitment to diversity.

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