College of San Mateo giving vets a school refuge 

Some 300 veterans, reservists and dependents of veterans attend the College of San Mateo. For many, the transition from military to academic life can be rough.

But next month, the Peninsula community college will open a new Veterans Resource and Opportunity Center, where veterans will have access to services such as help applying for benefits. Veterans will also be able to study, relax and socialize in the center, which is decorated with a framed U.S. flag that was flown during combat in Iraq.

The center is equipped with a television, computers and a “Zen room,” where student veterans can take a break from the stress of college life.

Veterans centers are increasingly a feature at community colleges, as more and more veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan take advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which helps pay for tuition. Cañada College in Redwood City opened its veterans center this past March.

CSM invited students and the public to an opening ceremony Feb. 15, at 11 a.m. in the Office of Student Life, Building 17. The new center is in Building 16.

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