KCKCC to open new veterans center

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

When Kansas City Kansas Community College officials were looking at how the college could best serve military and veterans, they discovered that there are nearly 20,000 veterans in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties alone.

So to serve the educational needs of these service men and women, KCKCC decided to create a new Veterans Center.

The new KCKCC Veterans Center will provide active duty military, veterans and military dependents with the resources, tools and services needed to help them achieve educational success, a spokesman said.

A grand opening celebration is planned for 4 p.m. Sept. 18. The center is located next to the deli in Lower Jewell on the KCKCC Main Campus, 7250 State Ave. The public is welcome to attend the event.

“With this program, our goal is to prepare more highly qualified men and women for the civilian workforce within this community,” said Dr. Stephen Terry, dean of enrollment management at KCKCC. “We want KCKCC to become a model and leader in providing educational opportunities and assistance to active duty military, veterans and military dependents.

Wade Abel has joined KCKCC as the director of the newly established Veterans Center. Abel served 25 years, active duty, in the U.S. Army and since retiring in 2009, has continued to serve military and veteran students as an Army ROTC instructor, and most recently, as director of military and veteran student services at Park University.

“I believe having served as a director of a Veterans Center at another university gives me an insight others might not have. I have seen what works, and I have also seen where military and veterans sometimes struggle as they pursue their college education,” Abel said. “My goal for the Veterans Center is for it to become a single service location for all military and veteran students whether they currently attend KCKCC or not. We will help any student that has questions about their VA educational benefits. We also want the center to be a place where our military and veteran students feel comfortable coming to and for them to know they have a place where they can receive the resources they need to be successful.”

The Veterans Center will offer some services, to include:
• Programing events to include information briefings from various topics (VA, Financial, Employment)
• Social event opportunities
• Community service opportunities
• Instruction in reading, writing, study skills and other subjects necessary for success
• Academic, financial or personal counseling
• Information and assistance on VA educational benefits
• Immediate access to a Certifying Official
• Computer lab with printing capabilities
• Study area
• TV lounge area for relaxing
• Complimentary beverages and snacks for military and veterans
• Educational counseling
• Student Veterans of America (SVA) opportunities
• Tutorial services
• Mentoring programs
• Assistance in completing college entrance and financial aid applications
• Assistance in preparing for college entrance exams

For more information on KCKCC’s Veterans Center, call 913-288-7592, email military@kckcc.edu or stop by the center in Lower Jewell.

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