By Justin Beaudrot
With over 700 student veterans in the state attending GPC using VA benefits, the Military Outreach Center (MOC) staff work tirelessly to provide student veterans the resources they need.
“Georgia Perimeter College honors its military and veteran men and women returning to pursue their educational goals at GPC,” said Director of Military Outreach at GPC Mark Eister. “The Military Outreach Center is there to assist each student veteran with the support and resources to help them achieve academic success.”
Providing learning support, counseling, scholarships and camaraderie, the MOC is based at Clarkston campus. Tables or booths are available at every campus offering information and fellow student-veteran conversation.
The Green Zone training program created by Eister equips staff and faculty members with the knowledge to provide student veterans the guidance they may require across a variety of issues.
NaTascha Nichols, biology major and Army Reservist, first came to know the MOC via contact with Eister. Nichols currently helps her peers through counseling and assisting the MOC with outreach responsibilities.
Aside from general help with school-related affairs, GPC’s MOC provides a space for veterans to meet for homework, study groups, or to simply hang out.
Nick Arnold, chemistry major and Air Force retiree, said the MOC helped him transition from military life to college life. Now, Arnold excels in his education at GPC and tutors students at the Learning and Tutoring Center
The MOC also offers a number of added benefits including counseling, disability guidance, MVP (Mentoring Veteran’s Program), scholarships, job placement assistance, transferring, and class placement (registering).
“My experience with the MOC has been exceptional,” said GPC student Lorretta Arrington. “The faculty, facility, and friendly atmosphere make it worth every visit. The staff goes above and beyond their daily duties to accommodate the student-veterans, and I appreciate their willingness to work hard for us each and every day.”
The Student Veteran Association (SVA) is currently working to develop a veterans’ scholarship dedicated to Specialist Jamaal Addison. SPC Jamaal Addison was a former GPC student who was the first Georgian killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The SVA meets every Friday at 10 a.m. in CH-1300 at GPC’s MOC offices to discuss various issues concerning the student-veteran population. The staff there can be reached at (678) 891-3025.