SFAC: Veterans Services, Cougars in Recovery look to further develop programs in FY17
Veterans Services and Cougars in Recovery presented to the Student Fees Advisory Committee Monday, with both organizations asking for base augmentations to further develop their programs, whether it is by hiring new staff or establishing initiatives to decrease stress.
Veterans Services requested a $29,309 base augmentation to their budget of $186,584 for fiscal year 2017 to be used for several initiatives that range from developing programs to increasing interaction with newly- enrolled student veterans.
The money would also be used to foster leadership development and a peer mentoring initiative to implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive advice before the stress of school becomes overwhelming.
“(The base augmentation) encompasses what we requested last year for our one time funding, (and) this has really helped us to develop a core base of programming for our students,” said Lawren Bradberry, program coordinator for Veterans Services. “This money is necessary for growth and development of our current programs.”
Veterans Services hopes to develop different events like welcome back mixers, increasing marketing and increasing social media presence with the increased base funding.
The organization also hopes to implement a comprehensive training program for VA work study peer counselors.
“The Veterans Service office basically provides a safe, comfortable place for veterans to come and study, to have the camaraderie that a lot of them miss,” Program Director for Veterans Services Celina Dugas said.
Following Veterans Services, Cougars in Recovery asked for a $53,099 base augmentation to hire a program coordinator to accommodate the growing number of students in the collegiate recovery program.
“With growth always come challenges and some of the challenges we’ve been faced with because of rapid growth is meeting all of the students’ needs and offering them quality recovery support,” CIR program director John Shiflet said.
The program coordinator would be responsible for organizing activities, preparing documentation as required for the program as well as carrying out the program’s objectives.
Shiflet said when CIR started in 2014, the program accommodated 11 students — a number that increased to 52 students.
CIR is lacking in staff and personnel with a staff to student ratio of one to 52. The student to staff ratio for other nationally-ranked collegiate recovery programs is one to 25, program coordinator Barbara Dwyer said.
“We really are in dire need of bringing in additional staff,” Shiflet said. “One to 25 is the best practices across the country, and we really would be grateful if we were allocated that fund to be able to bring in an additional staff member on for the spring of 2016 through fiscal year 17.”