Get to Know Agustin Ramirez
He is the Director of the Veterans Success Center (VSC). Agustin joined the Coyote family 15 years ago, starting off as a student assistant in the Office of the Registrar. The experience opened his eyes to all the systems and processes that take place behind the scenes in higher education. The position allowed him to work with faculty, staff, and students to translate the processes and make recommendations.
“Being an advocate for students was also one of the things that I learned to do as a student employee,” said Agustin. “You recognize that students don’t have the time or sometimes even the inclination to really get to know these processes, and so they just need someone to guide them.”
He quickly learned that he had a knack for it. This led him to earning a full-time position in the Office of the Registrar as an administrative assistant, followed by a transfer graduation counselor role. He then went on to become an academic advisor in the Advising and Academic Services department.
In his current role as Director of the Veterans Success Center, he oversees the day-to-day operations of the VSC at both the San Bernardino and Palm Desert campuses. This includes providing student services and programs, as well as assessing the department’s efforts. In addition, he serves as the voice for his student population at the executive and administrative level meetings. Agustin makes it a priority to advocate for students and bring their concerns to the forefront.
He is also responsible for maintaining the department’s institutional compliance with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Defense, and the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Most requirements are met annually, while others are semiannual or every few years. This entails staying up to date on new laws passed that affect VA benefits, restrictions, and compliance requirements.
The VSC is a one-stop shop for CSUSB student veterans, service members, and their families. The center provides a comfortable area where student veterans can study, access the internet, relax, and connect with the campus community, as well as other veterans. The resources offered to students include computer access, free printing, tutoring services, and a counseling group for veterans, which meets on Fridays and is facilitated by the Counseling and Psychological Services department.
“The other biggest service we offer is the VA education benefits,” said Agustin. “The certification piece, which requires the school certifying official to meet with students to review their class schedule, ensure that the classes are degree applicable, and therefore, they're eligible for certification.”
Service members, veterans, reservists, National Guard members, and dependents may be eligible for various educational benefits. In order to receive educational benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, students need to go through the certification process through the VSC.
The Veteran Success Center helps guide students through the available benefits, various applications, and explains the benefits they may be eligible to receive. Depending on what programs they are eligible for, benefits can cover some or all of their tuition costs, assist with living expenses, and more.
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To access information about the Veterans Success Center, click here