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Bossier celebrates opening of new educational center for military

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Bossier celebrated the opening of a center Thursday designed to serve the educational needs of the military and their families.

Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) and Louisiana Tech University opened the new Veterans Resource Center with a ribbon cutting/dedication program on Thursday.

“For many consecutive years Louisiana Tech and BPCC have been recognized nationally and within our state as a military friendly institution. The (resource center) is a reflection of our combined commitment to provide world class services to our veterans and our active duty military,” said BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman.

The Veterans Resource Center (VRC), located in a space shared between BPCC and Louisiana Tech, is the first center in north Louisiana established to serve the educational needs of the military and their families.

BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman.

“Our’s is the first campus based veteran’s resource center in north Louisiana. It is our hope that this space will serve as a connection point in our community which ensures that services and resources reach these heroes,” Dr. Bateman added.

The VRC will serve students who are active duty, veterans, Reservist or National Guard, spouses and dependent children of using education benefits.

“What you are seeing is a partnership between Louisiana Tech, Bossier Parish Community College and this community. This facility will be particularly beneficial to the non-traditional students, adult learners, and others who need to continue their education in a non traditional way. With classes that are offered in ways that will empower them to achieve there career goals,” said Dr. Les Guice, Louisiana Tech University president.

A Veterans Resource Coordinator will answer questions about programs and services offered to veterans, including the education benefits programs offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VRC will also provide a community connection of resources for veteran students from veteran services that will be scheduled on a rotating calendar to visit the center.

The VRC was created to provide the College’s military and veteran students a central, one-stop location for obtaining essential support services such as VA certification and advising for VA benefits. The 1,600-square-foot center also features dedicated computers and a lounge area where students can connect with peers and participate in veteran-specific activities.

Currently, BPCC Veterans Service Office serves on average 400-500 students per semester using military benefits and connects with over 1,300 applicants that are military affiliated per school calendar year.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Dr. Bateman and Dr. Guice signed new memorandums of understanding between the schools that will continue their institutions’ commitment for developing transfer pathways.

“This is about two institutions that are partnering in this pursuit of improving the human condition. We know that the foundation of the workforce development, economic development, and community development is human development. And that’s what joins these families — Louisiana Tech and Bossier Parish Community College — in this pursuit,” said Dr. Jim Henderson, president of University of Louisiana System.