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Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Veterans Upward Bound Program Growing Rapidly at BSC (w/photo)

The staff of the Veterans Upward Bound program at Bluefield State College includes (seated) secretary Becky Davis, (standing left-to-right) VUB counselor Al Hancock, VUB Director Ron Holt, and VUB Counselor Curtis Pauley. The Veterans Upward Bound program at BSC has experienced unprecedented growth during the first four months of its current fiscal year. Hancock serves program participants through VUB offices at BSC campuses in Beckley and Lewisburg. The Veterans Upward Bound Program at Bluefield State College has experienced unprecedented growth during the first four months of its current fiscal year, with the addition of a new program of instruction and the relocation of its Lewisburg office to the new home of the Greenbrier Community College Center of BSC key factors in that growth. Ron Holt, VUB Director, noted that 158 military veterans have enrolled in the next 12-week term offered through VUB. Eighty-seven veterans took part in the first 12-week term of the current fiscal year. "The addition of a short-term refresher course in biology, (coupled with existing short-term courses in computers, math, and composition, has been very well received, and are a vital aspect to our focus of helping veterans achieve their educational goals," Holt noted. "We have experienced three-fold growth in the enrollment of veterans at our office in Lewisburg," Holt added. "The new office location, in the recently-relocated Greenbrier Community College Center of Bluefield State College, has been a key to the growth, as has the outstanding work of Curtis Pauley, the VUB counselor in Lewisburg and Beckley." The Veterans Upward Bound services, in addition to short-term refresher courses, include career and academic counseling and testing, assistance in completing college entrance applications, SAT/ACT applications, and financial aid forms. VUB services are free to qualifying service veterans in the program and the program pays a monthly stipend to help offset expenses for eligible veterans. Utilizing a small budget surplus from last fiscal year, the BSC VUB program has purchased additional laptop computers that have expanded their "mobile computer lab." "We are able to take our lap tops on the road and set up a computer lab anywhere," the VUB Director observed. VUB lap top labs have been presented in Welch and will soon be established in Wyoming County. Holt attributes the dramatic increase in demand for VUB assistance to "the timeliness of the services we offer, and the outstanding work of counselors Al Hancock (in Bluefield and Welch), Curtis Pauley (in Beckley and Lewisburg), the hard-working faculty and staff, and the willingness of BSC to make us a part of the college community." Additional information regarding VUB services may be obtained by calling (toll-free) 1-888-428-0485, in Bluefield (327-4287 or 327-4288), Beckley (255-5866) or Lewisburg (647-7445).