MiraCosta College Honors Students, Alumni, and Staff on Veterans Day

MiraCosta College Honors Students, Alumni, and Staff on Veterans Day

On November 11, 2023 MiraCosta College honors its military-affiliated students, alumni, staff, as well as their families. Located only a short drive away from many of California’s largest military bases, MiraCosta College is committed to providing an array of resources for veterans’ successful transition from military service to college enrollment and beyond.

“On Veterans Day and always, MiraCosta College thanks its military members and their families for their service, dedication, and sacrifice to this country,” shared Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke, Superintendent/President of MiraCosta College. “These students, alumni, staff, and families within the MiraCosta College community represent the very best of us, and it is our privilege to provide resources and programs that support their career goals and academic success.”

From the Veterans Business Outreach Center to VetSuccess on Campus, a collaborative effort between MiraCosta College and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, military-affiliated students have access to a host of resources that meet individuals where they are at.

“MiraCosta College is extremely veteran friendly,” shared veteran Ana Ornelas. “Getting back into school wasn’t simple but with MiraCosta College I have been able to slowly ease back into the classroom. Veterans Services staff is always reassuring and they’re never more than a call or email away. It’s exactly the supportive environment I need.”

A former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant, Ornelas is widely recognized for her leadership and diverse management skills. Never one to stop challenging herself and expanding her expertise, she decided in 2022 to return to school to pursue a new passion in the field of Forensic Psychology at MiraCosta College. Upon graduation, Ornelas plans to work in the world of criminology to help protect her community.

Current Engineering Technician Program student and former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Ryan Wilkerson has had a similar experience, stating, “At MiraCosta College, learning is always occurring. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, and they can teach the same subject in different ways so as to cater to all different types of learning styles.”

After four years of service, Wilkerson transitioned from the Marine Corps to civilian life where he bounced around at various jobs. He took a few academic courses in the process, but it wasn’t until he enrolled in the MiraCosta College Engineering Technician Program that he found a new career pathway that fit his passions. As someone who loves to work with his hands and find new challenges, Wilkerson describes the Engineering Technician Program as game changing. He regularly stays up late studying just because he loves learning new material and he often seeks out additional information to further his expertise. Once he completes the Engineering Technician Program, Wilkerson plans to continue his studies through the Master Fabricator Program at MiraCosta College.

Veterans Services at MiraCosta College provides a place for military-affiliated students to find resources on Veterans Affairs educational benefits, MiraCosta Student Services, and community organizations that are dedicated to assisting veterans and their family members. Every day, students at MiraCosta College use Veterans Services to learn about on-campus resources, get their courses certified for GI Bill benefits, and work with counselors to map out their education plans.

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