Category: UCO Campus Resources

Lasting Generational Change – Part 4 ~ Final Conclusion and The Plan

You’ll notice my examples of the challenges as a first-generation college student in this series of blog posts, did not include intellectual type barriers. When I work with new clients I share this piece of advice about getting through classes, college is 10% intelligence and 90% persistence. You were accepted into your program of study, so you meet the academic criteria. Prior to moving over to STRIPES-VUB, I spent 8 years as faculty. In that entire time, I never had a student fail my class due to lack of intellectual ability. It always came down to preparation and the ability to adapt when life happened. Brushing up on your grammar and math skills is just one part of returning to the classroom. We focus so much on test scores and entrance standards, that we often overlook creating plan to build the critical resiliency skills, changes, and student supports needed to persist. New students often underestimate the amount of time needed to complete assignments, the self discipline to study outside of the classroom, fail to locate student academic support programs at the start of the semester, or make the life adjustments needed to meet their new student responsibilities. These are the things that sink students without a plan the most.

As a new or returning student, what are you going to do when life happens? When the road gets jumbled and it is hard to see the finish line, do you have the support to keep going? What are you doing to build your student support tribe? Hopefully, one of your supports is using the STRIPES-VUB or other Trio program and staff to guide you through this transition. We will gladly stand with you on the arena floor when the battles of life show up. We are ready to help you start a new learning adventure, are you ready to take that first step?

Call, email, message us today. Our email is STRIPES-VUB@uco.edu, office number is 405-974-3686.  You can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/STRIPESVUB/ or follow our program blog at https://blogs.uco.edu/ucostripes/.

Lasting Generational Change – Part 1 The Start

Lasting Generational Change – Part 2 ~Babies, Cows, and Diplomas

Lasting Generational Change Part 3 ~ Starting Anew, Conquering Algebra, & Battle Buddies

Lasting Generational Change Part 3 ~ Starting Anew, Conquering Algebra, & Battle Buddies

You would think that would be enough examples of achieving a higher education and leading through example, right? Well, fast forward 13 years. Now a family of 5, my mother realized she needed a new career. Her one college regret, was not following her initial dream to become a teacher because of the College Algebra credit requirement. It was time for a change. We moved to a single income family and my mother would return to the college classroom ready to tackle Algebra. At the time I was in middle school and can remember the financial adjustments our family made to make ends meet. We threw newspapers, delivered phone books, & shopped at thrift stores. I watched as the “family tribe” stepped in to help make the dream of a new beginning happen for my mother. My father took on the extra work of raising all 3 of us while my mom studied. As the oldest, I can remember endless hours in lines at the Lilliard building watching siblings while my mom enrolled in classes, bought books, and applied for financial aid. Her final school semester included a full student teaching internship, a full right arm cast, and the upcoming June arrival of my youngest sister. To say my mother refuses to allow obstacles to stop her from achieving something, would be an understatement. That May, she completed her 2nd degree from UCO; a Bachelor in Elementary Education. She went into the elementary classroom in what turned into a 27-year career as a public school teacher. My mother’s return to the college classroom and the positive support she received as an adult student instilled even more examples for generational change.

You are never too old or too late to join the party. The opportunity to return to a dream and start again is always there when you are ready.

The people around you can either motivate you to persist or distract you from your goals. It is up to you to refuse admission to detractors and carefully select your battle buddies who are going to stand with you.

Lasting Generational Change – Part 1

Lasting Generational Change – Part 2 ~Babies, Cows, and Diplomas

Lasting Generational Change – Part 4 ~ Final Conclusion and The Plan

What’s My Grade and other things that ARE IN THE SYLLABUS!

Before accepting the staff position with Veterans Upward Bound I spent many years on the faculty side of the university academic world. In my current role as a VUB Outreach Specialist, I use that experience to talk with our VUB participants about meeting academic expectations of faculty in the classroom today. The first step in meeting expectations and ultimately achieving success can be found in the mystical document your professors provided in the first week of class. This document often holds all the answers to your academic concerns and provides a direct map to securing an A in the course. It can even help tell you what your grade will be without the professor saying a word or returning your graded assignment. What is the name of this all powerful document that will lead me to success you ask? It’s in the syllabus!

Chinks in the Student Armor

After years of being 10-foot-tall and bullet proof as members of the US military, many of us struggle with admitting or letting anyone else see the chinks in our metaphorical armor. This mindset continues when we transition back into civilian life as veterans. We will reply with “I’m fine” when really, we are not fine. Myself, I often fall into the thought of “there’s someone else who needs your help more than I do.” Other times I just do not want to admit I might have a limitation. As a returning non-traditional student, this mindset can lead to critical academic supports not being requested or implemented in the classroom. In particular, services available through the institution’s Student Disability Support Services office are often skipped completely by student veterans.  Read on to learn how the Disability Support Services program can help all students succeed in the classroom.

Mental Fitness

What is mental fitness and how important is it to success in college? Mental fitness is multidimensional including our emotional, psychological, and social well-being (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2019). Meaning all three play a role in the stability of a person’s mental fitness like a three-legged stool. If one leg is shorter or lacking in some way the stool is not considered stable. Our mental fitness plays a role in everything we do down to the smallest details. It also affects larger aspects of college life like coping with stress, functioning in a campus society, and our decision patterns (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). Now that we have a general understanding of what mental fitness is and how it can affect us as college students; the better questions are what exercises can I do for my mental fitness?  How many set’s and how many repetitions are needed to reach maximum gain? Do I have to do cardio and legs for mental fitness?

The answers to the questions above are different to each person. As you can see our buddy up top needs to stop skipping leg day. A person’s mental fitness is multidimensional in aspect to the roles internal and external factors play and how they contribute collectively. The average student veteran can be hit by a barrage of different past and present stress related factors on any given day. Don’t be discouraged there are personal trainers that specialize in helping you tailor a workout plan that’s right for you. At the bottom of this page are some resources to find the right trainer for you.

Thrive On A Budget & Eat Like The King

College Life and Food

When I think of college students and food, I think of cheap instant noodles being heated in a dorm room microwave. Chances are this diet is no stranger to most service members from their E-1 thru E-3 days. Well that was then and this is now. The goal is not to just survive college we want to thrive in college. To accomplish this feat, we are going to need more than instant noodles to power our brain and body. Although instant noodles are one of my favorite instant meals they should not be a staple in your college diet. College is a marathon like no other that requires more than processed carbohydrates. We need simple and complex carbs like those found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy that can be broken down by the body and used as energy.

What Do I Want To Be?

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Chances are you have asked yourself this very question. I know I did after I retired from active duty. The difference is most people ask themselves this as children and in high school. We as veterans ask ourselves this after serving our country at a later time in life. Some of us in our early 20’s and others in our 40’s. The most common responses I have heard from veterans when asked this question is I do not know, I am not sure, or they give a list of several possibilities.

This is where STRIPES-Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) can come into play. All of us here at STRIPES-VUB have been in this very situation. We have gone through the transition from military life to civilian student life. We are subject matter experts in the pre-enrollment phase of college assisting hundreds of veterans walk the path. Don’t bang your head against the wall trying to find the right school and the right degree plan that fit you. We have don’t that leg work for you and can assist in guiding you with your decision.

Student Study and Academic Resources

The start of the Fall semester is days away. Do you have a plan for learning? Learning in higher education requires focus and motivation to practice and study outside of the classroom. Students no matter your age, who expect to only attend class and pass all courses have a significantly lower success rate for degree completion. As adults is can be a challenge to find study groups or make time to be on campus. That doesn’t mean you are left to bang your head alone trying to learn new material. Read on for several free or low cost online websites and smartphone apps.

OESC Veteran Services Job Club Announcement

As an adult student flexible employment is sometimes a necessity. If you find yourself needing employment as a student, consider the monthly OESC Job Club event. Hosted by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Veteran office, the monthly Job Club assists US Veterans with finding employment, full and part time positions.The next Job Club is Thursday July 18th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at Regional Training Institute Education Center, Room #103, 6500 North Kelley Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73111. The Job Club provides job seekers with an opportunity to network with employers for job hunting tips and employment opportunities. Please come dressed for success with resume in hand and ready to interview! Open to Transitioning Service Members, Oklahoma National Guard, Veterans, and Spouses.
If the monthly Job Club does not fit with your schedule, they have offices across the state with Veterans’ Employment Representatives ready to assist with employment services. You can contact their offices to set up an appointment.

Cyber Security Pilot Program Deadline to apply April 22, 2019!

Oklahoma City Community College was selected to host an amazing program for individuals interested in the Cyber Security field. Scholar applications for participants are being accepted until April 22nd, 2019. Don’t delay in starting your application, the program requires an extensive application packet and offers great benefits such as full tuition and an annual stipend if selected. Check out this link for more details. http://www.occc.edu/bit/cybercorps.html You can also contact Mr. John Claybon at jclaybon@occc.edu or 405-682-7888.