Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Germanna Prof. Brenda Dixon: VCCS becoming more user friendly for vets

Virginia’s Community Colleges Serving More and More Diverse Military Veteran Students

~ That’s no surprise says VCCS grad turned veteran turned professor Brenda Dixon of Germanna ~

RICHMOND — A growing and increasingly diverse number of U.S. military veterans are enrolling in Virginia’s Community Colleges. That’s neither a

mistake nor surprising says one person who has spent her adult life watching the issue from all sides: first as a community college student and graduate; then as an officer in Army Reserve; and now as a full-time nursing professor at her alma mater.

“The system is more user-friendly for veterans today then when I was in college in the early 1980s,” said Brenda Dixon, a professor of nursing at Germanna Community College. “We reach out to the veterans, and employ coordinators to ease the transition of veterans to the college setting. Our faculty receives training, geared toward assisting veterans in the classroom. Also, veterans are allowed to form a club on campus, which serves as a support system.”

Dixon, who was one of 12 children, was the first in her family to attend college when she entered the nursing program at Germanna Community College in 1980. There, a mentor’s stories of military service inspired her to enlist in the Army Reserve where she would go on to serve four years on active duty and rise to the rank of Lt. Colonel. She continued her education, earning a master’s degree and several post-master’s certificates. Today, she is a professor at the community college where it all began.
--Jeffrey Kraus
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Relations
(804) 592-6767

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