Pulaski Technical College has received a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue its Veterans Upward Bound program for five more years.
The college will receive $250,000 annually for a five-year period to continue the pre-college program that prepares first-generation military veterans to enroll in and graduate from college. The program provides tutoring, advising, preparation for college entrance exams, personal and academic counseling, and guidance through the college application and financial aid processes. The grant period began Sept. 1.
Since the program was implemented in September 2007, Pulaski Tech has served about 120 veterans a year.
"The number one thing we do is provide tutoring to veterans," said Veterans Upward Bound director Jackie Johnson. "Once they complete tutoring, we help them with the college entrance process, the admissions and financial aid applications and the course selections. We do quite a bit of personal and educational training."
Veterans who complete tutoring also are eligible to receive a $40 monthly stipend through the program.
The program also offers workshops on dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome and accessing community resources.
"We know it's a challenge to transition from military to civilian life and then into college life," Johnson said. "We talk to them about their long-range goals and what they want to do and provide guidance."
Pulaski Tech's program is one of 37 Veteran Upward Bound sites in the nation to receive funding this year. It is one of three VUB programs operating in the state. The others sites are at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia and at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.