Grant will help student veterans at MiraCosta College

By Dr. Francisco Rodriguez
Aug 01, 2012

Great news for student veterans at MiraCosta College! The Howard Charitable Foundation has granted $305,500 to the MiraCosta College Foundation to assist them with the transition from military to college and civilian life. 

The grant provides funds to augment student veteran counseling services, administer loans and emergency grants to student veterans, and provide limited funding for the college’s Veterans Information Center.   

This grant will significantly impact the lives of our student veterans by improving the college’s ability to serve those who have served our country. These students have unique characteristics and needs that MiraCosta College will be better able to meet thanks to the college programs supported by the Howard Charitable Foundation. 

In the past five years, MiraCosta College has experienced a 75 percent increase in veteran enrollment and anticipates serving even more student veterans over the next three years. Currently, approximately 1,140 active duty military and veterans and an additional 680 military dependents attend the college each semester. 

Across the state, veterans like Sgt. Mario Clay are turning to community colleges like MiraCosta College to assist with the transition back to civilian life.

Sgt. Clay served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, was based at Camp Pendleton and made multiple deployments to Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom. He transitioned out of the military several years ago and enrolled at MiraCosta College in 2009 as a business major. While at MiraCosta College, he served as vice president of the Veterans Club, coordinating events for veterans get-togethers on campus and in the community. After the new Veterans Information Center was built on campus, Sgt. Clay worked there helping current veterans navigate the college.   

Sgt. Clay attributes our Veterans Services staff for steering him in the right direction when he first came to college. 

Because of the help he received while attending MiraCosta College, he thrived here and received several MiraCosta College military scholarships. He now attends Cal State San Marcos, where he is majoring in Management Information Systems with plans to launch a career in the growing field.   

At MiraCosta College, we believe that in addition to offering classes, it is our responsibility to recognize the particular needs of our veterans, including those who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other disabilities. This grant gives us the resources needed to ensure services like counseling and the Veterans Information Center can continue serve our growing veteran population.  

These grant funds augment student veteran services for a period of three years beginning with the start of the school year in August 2012.   For more information about our Veterans Services, visit or call the Veterans Service Department at 760.757.2121, ext. 6285.

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