The Veteran’s Upward Bound (VUB) Project at Colorado State University-Pueblo has been selected to receive a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to assist low-income, first generation military veterans in Pueblo and El Paso counties. Beginning this month, the VUB will serve nearly 125 military veterans each year through an annual grant of $250,000 per year over the next five years.
The VUB Project improves academic, social, and personal support for military veterans and fosters successful entry into postsecondary educational institutions, said Chris Beltran, director of the VUB program. He said Pueblo and El Paso Counties have exceptionally large veteran populations who are eligible for and will benefit from these services.
“The U.S. Department of Education selected CSU-Pueblo as one of 34 VUB Projects in the United States,” Beltran said. “The project will target large numbers of vets in El Paso and Pueblo counties with offices at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs and Pueblo Community College in Pueblo.”
CSU-Pueblo has hosted the VUB program since 2003. The project will help the University strengthen existing ties to veteran’s organizations and military installations in both counties, Beltran said.
The VUB helps veterans develop academic and other requisite skills needed for acceptance and success in a program of postsecondary education, Beltran said. The program provides assessment and enhancement of basic skills through counseling, mentoring, tutoring and academic instruction in the core subject areas. The primary goal of the program is to increase the rate at which participants enroll in and complete postsecondary education programs.
Academic instruction is available for pre-college veterans in English, mathematics, science, career planning, computer literacy, and Spanish. Additionally, VUB provides access to academic resources, employment referrals, assistance with VA and G. I. Bill benefits applications and referrals to various community assistance organizations. The VUB is staffed by military veterans, who all are qualified as VA certifying officials dedicated to facilitate and provide support for vets who may have financial issues reentering the classroom.
To learn more about the grant, VUB Project or services call Beltran at 549-2824, Kevin Walda, assistant director, at 502-4020 or Laura Lisonbee, site coordinator, at 540-3077.
Colorado State University – Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.