School recognizes veterans in FOCUS

Recently voted one of the “Best Colleges for Veterans” in the U.S. News and World Report for 2016, California Baptist University is dedicated to making the university a safe and welcoming place for veterans. CBU offers numerous veteran benefits, including at least five GI bills.

There are more than 330 students using veteran benefits at CBU, said Steve Leader, academic records coordinator for veteran services.

Leader estimated that approximately 4 percent of CBU students use GI benefits. A First-Year Orientation and Christian University Success group dedicated to incoming students who are veterans has been created to accommodate these students. Williams is one of the FOCUS leaders for CBU’s first FOCUS group dedicated to veterans.

“Kelli Welzel, (director of new student programs), worked really hard to get students that are all veterans to be in the same group so that they can have peers that they know who went through the same living and world experiences,” Leader said. “The feedback already is resounding.”

This year, CBU has been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to have VA work studies. These will be positions offered to veterans that will include assisting prospective veteran students.

Aaron Graham, freshman construction management major and Army veteran, was in the Army for four years before coming to CBU.

He said he liked the Christian background that CBU offered and it was especially helpful that CBU had veteran representatives to help with the process.

“We have a certain bond,” Graham said. “It’s hard to explain but it’s easier to coordinate business with those who have served.”

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