• Veterans & Military Resource Center

    Provides student veterans, service members and their families with the resources, support and advocacy they need to be successful in the classroom and, ultimately, in life.

Veterans & Military Resource Center

Welcome to the Veterans and Military Resource Center at Central Community College. We serve veteran affiliated and military service members entering college for the first time or returning to college to further their education. The center acts as a liaison with the Veterans Administration to verify enrollment for students claiming benefits under the VA or the Veteran Readiness and Employment. We can also assist you with the proper resources needed to be successful in your education, career and life goals.

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Our Commitment

Our Commitment

The VMRC is a dedicated place that veteran affiliated students and service members with common backgrounds, experiences, and goals can call their own, a place where they can study, connect and support each other.

We are committed to your success and understand the questions and concerns you may have.

Come into a welcoming center on any of our campuses and see for yourself.

Veterans Message from the College President

Matt Gotschall, Central Community College PresidentI am proud and honored to welcome you to Central Community College as you continue your education, training and leadership development. As a child of a military veteran, I appreciate the enormous sacrifice, dedication and service you have shown to date. Our dedicated faculty, staff and administrators stand ready to serve you and guide you to reaching your next goal or to even help you determine that goal through compassionate veteran support staff.

As veterans or family members, I ask you to continue providing a strong example of leadership and role-modeling positive behavior in and out of the classroom for our non-veteran students. They have much to learn from you and will be better citizens as a result of your interactions.

CCC is not just a place for taking a class or earning a degree, it is a place where lifetime friendships and connections are made and where we want to become a familiar resource for you throughout your life.


Matt Gotschall, PhD
College President

Meet our staff

Barry Horner, veterans and military services director

Barry is a retired US Army First Sergeant who served 41 total years in uniform.  His 12-years of active duty service started in 1980 until he transferred to the Army Reserves in 1992 after deploying to Iraq in support of Operations Desert Storm and Provide Comfort.  From 1992 through 2021, his Reserve assignments afforded him the opportunity to become a certified Army Instructor and Observer Controller/Trainer [OC/T].  Barry taught the Motor Transport Operator, the Transportation Advanced and Senior Leadership courses and has been the senior instructor and course manager for both of those Army professional education schools.  He also taught the Army Instructor and Small Group Leader courses as well as the OC/T Academy.  His duties as a First Sergeant provided knowledge and leadership skills he values and practices professionally and personally.  Barry has earned degrees from University of Maryland [AS], Bellevue University [BS] and holds a Masters degree in Information Technology from Grantham University.

Location: Grand Island Campus, Veterans and Military Resource Center, Room 444
Email: bhorner@csjiazu.com 
Phone: 308-398-7376

Patti Lee-Smith, Veterans & Military Services Coordinator: Columbus Campus 

Patti Lee-SmithPatti is a Sergeant First Class [E7] in the Nebraska Army National Guard (NEARNG) as an AL&T Contracting Noncommissioned Officer.  She is a member of the 1969th Contingency Contracting Team and works full time for the NEARNG United States Property Fiscal Officer in Contracting. She holds two Military Occupational Specialties: 51C and 88N and has earned four additional skill identifiers: Victim Advocacy, Master Fitness Trainer and Levels 1 & 2 Master Resiliency Trainer.  She is also a certified Deployment Cycle Resilience Trainer (DCRT), training both mobilizing and demobilizing units across the state.  Patti earned both her Bachelor of Science and Masters Degree in Criminology and Public Administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha.  Patti is an avid runner and volunteers her time with multiple community and Veteran’s organizations.

Location: Columbus Campus, Veterans and Military Resource Center
Email: patricialeesmith@csjiazu.com
Phone: 402-562-1436

Jordan Janssen, Veterans & Military Services Coordinator: Hastings Campus


Jordan JanssenJordan served in the Nebraska Army National Guard as a Transportation Specialist [88M] supporting airborne training missions outside of Lincoln.  After serving, he attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a Veteran student.  In addition to his studies, he served as vice president and president of the UNL Student Veterans Organization.  The Student Veterans of America selected him to attend the seventh annual Leadership Institute in Washington D.C.  He also helped lead the 2019 “Things They Carry Ruck March” for the Nebraska-Iowa Hero’s Game.

After graduating from UNL with a bachelor’s degree in 2020, he moved back to his hometown of Hastings, where his family currently farms, and has been farming, since around 1905.

Jordan enjoys farming with his dad, talking or complaining about anything Husker sports, hunting, fishing and going on road trips.

Location: Hastings Campus, Veterans and Military Resource Center 
Email:  jordanjanssen@csjiazu.com
Phone: 402-460-2137

Shawn Patsios, Veterans & Military Services Coordinator: Kearney Center

Shawn is Master Sergeant [E7] in the Nebraska Air National Guard as a Chaplain’s Assistant. His deep passion for higher education, specifically student services, allowed him to serve an Admissions Counselor for Wayne State College and an Office Associate at UNK when he attended those schools.  The majority of Shawn’s civilian career was spent in the finance and banking sector.  He most recently served as a Mortgage Loan Officer and Assistant Branch Manager at U.S. Bank in Kearney, where he was recognized as a top performer over numerous quarters and received awards for his excellence.

Shawn grew up in Kearney and graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in Business Communications. He is also an alumnus of Leadership Kearney, Class #26, through the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce.

Shawn volunteers his time with Junior Achievement, spends time with family and friends and enjoys running and anything Husker or Minnesota Vikings Football.

Location: Kearney Center, Veterans and Military Resource Center
Phone: 308-338-4049

Certifying Officials

Ronda Ryan


Grand Island - Administration
Kayla Sheffield


Margaret Treffer

Getting Started

The application and admission process for veterans is a bit more involved than for typical students. The VMRC is eager to guide you so that you don't miss out on any opportunities specific to veterans. Before you apply, however, we encourage you to call, email or stop by our office.

We will:

  • Walk you through the application process
  • Explain the GI Bill®, including benefits and requirements
  • Guide and assist you and your family in applying for these benefits
  • Put you in contact with your academic program of interest
  • Connect you with CCC's admissions and financial aid offices

**Official correspondences are sent to your CCC student email account, so please be sure to check your account often. Important notices affecting your benefits that are time sensitive are often disregarded by students because they forget to check their email!


Veteran’s Benefits

As a veteran, you and eligible dependents are entitled to certain benefits and are eligible to participate in certain programs. If you are qualified and wish to use your Veterans Educational Benefits you must be admitted to a state-approved degree or certificate program and complete the appropriate chapter paperwork. Contact the VMRC office on your campus for assistance. 

More about VA Education Benefits

Military Tuition Assistance

Federal Tuition Assistance

The Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) program provides financial assistance to students currently serving in the National Guard, Reserves or on Active Duty.  Voluntary education programs supporting professional and personal self-development goals are eligible to be paid by FTA.  Enrollment requests for FTA can be submitted to ArmyIgnitED up to 60 calendar days prior to the course start date but *absolutely no later than 7 calendar days prior* to the course start date.  All other application and approval questions should be addressed to your unit or the ArmyIgnitED help line at 1-877-272-1330. 

ArmyIgnitED Website

Nebraska - State Tuition Assistance 

Funded by the State of Nebraska, the Nebraska State Tuition Assistance program is an educational benefit for members of the Nebraska Army and Air National Guard.  If FTA for the calendar year has been exhausted [or not available], service members who have less than 10 years of service in the NENG can use this program. Guard members using this program must agree to an additional 3 year service obligation after completing the course for which assistance was received.  Payment for courses is made directly to the school upon successful completion of course, so you’ll need to discuss your program usage with our local Student Accounts team.  Read the full program details by clicking the link below:

Eligibility, Requirements and Application

Reservist Tuition Credit Program

Nebraska residents who are enlisted members of a Nebraska-based unit of the Active Selected Reserve may be eligible for a 50% tuition credit to the University of Nebraska campuses, Nebraska state colleges and Nebraska community colleges. This program is allowed 200 new applicants each calendar year.

The University of Nebraska, the Nebraska State College System, and the Nebraska Community College System participate in a tuition credit program that will provide a credit for 50% of the tuition charges for enlisted members of Nebraska-based units of the Active Reserve of the armed forces of the United States; as set forth in NE Revised State Statutes 80-901, 80-902 & 80-903. Note there are required deadlines prior to course registration.

Eligibility requirements and application

At any point Central Community College’s Education Service Officer in our Veterans and Military Resource Center can assist and direct you.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal Financial Aid

There are multiple types of aid for qualified students that include grants, loans, and work study. Check out our financial aid page for more information.


CCC students can apply for several privately funded scholarships, including the Veterans and Military Appreciation Scholarship and the Women Veterans Scholarship and are encouraged to do so.

Veterans Appreciation Scholarship

Central Community College created the general Veterans Appreciation Scholarship to express its gratitude to the men and women who have served our country honorably. The scholarship offers multiple scholarships up to $500 to help offset the costs of higher education and make college accessible.

Dependents Scholarship

CCC recognizes the unique challenges today’s military families face in pursuing additional training or education. Frequent moves make it difficult to complete programs and establish a career. We are here to help ease the financial obstacles that accompany pursuing a higher education

Women Veterans Scholarship in Honor of Wilma Kellogg

This scholarship encourages women veterans and women currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces to achieve their academic and career goals by helping to ease the financial burden that accompany pursuing a higher education. This scholarship is open to all military women and women veterans who are full-time or part-time students at CCC and are working toward an associate degree.

Scholarship Eligibility 

Dependent of a family member serving any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces with or without VA educational assistance may be eligible.

  • Dependent must provide a valid military ID.
  • Must be enrolled at Central Community College at least half time.
  • Must maintain satisfactory academic progress per the Financial Aid Office.
  • Be pursuing his/her degree or diploma.
  • Selection is based on academic achievement, employment and school activities, quality of the personal statement, application completeness and recommendations.

Application Dates

Applications Available: October 1

Application Deadline: March 1

Award Announcement: April 15

Apply for Scholarships 

MyCAA at Central Community College

The Department of Defense has made funds available through the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account program (MyCAA) to help pay for licenses, certifications and associate degrees in high-growth, high-demand, portable career fields. CCC is proud to be a participant in the MyCAA program.

For specific details on the MyCAA program, refer to the official MyCAA website

Student Veterans Association

The Student Veterans Association is dedicated to the pride, visibility and success of veterans. We are a group of student veterans who are interested in giving back to our community and fellow military members and veterans through community service projects and fundraising. Anyone can join!

If you are a veteran, active duty service member, dependent of a past or current service member or a troop supporter, then you are invited to join a Central Community College SVA chapter at the Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings or Kearney locations.

Meetings are scheduled on a regular basis. Dates and times are posted at CCC’s Veterans and Military Resource Centers.

SALUTE - Veterans National Honor Society

SALUTE: Service, Academics, Unity, Tribute, ExcellenceSALUTE stands for Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute and Excellence. It is a national academic honor society recognizing student veterans and military personnel who have demonstrated outstanding performance in an academic setting.

SALUTE graduation stole

Membership Criteria

Membership in SALUTE is by invitation only and is open to all CCC veteran students. Eligible students will be notified and encouraged to complete the application process.

Contact Jaycee Carroll at jayceecarroll@csjiazu.com

Salute to Women Warriors


Wilma Kellogg profile picture
Wilma Kellogg
First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Veteran

Women Veterans Scholarship in Honor of Wilma Kellogg, U.S. Army First Lieutenant

If you would like more information about this event or would like to be put on the mailing list for next year, please fill out a short form.

Join our mailing list

Women Veterans Scholarship

Wilma Kellogg and other women warriors during World War II pose for a photo.This scholarship was created in honor of Wilma Kellogg, a U.S. Army veteran with significant service in the military and on the home front. Wilma served in the U.S. Army during WWII as a nurse from September 1944 through March 1946, achieving the rank of first lieutenant. She traveled to England where she served in the General Hospital Unit, which followed soldiers to France, Belgium and Germany. She is decorated with the EAME Theatre Ribbon, a Bronze Battle Star, two Overseas Bars and the Victory Medal.

This scholarship encourages women veterans and women who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces to achieve their academic and career goals by helping to ease the financial burden that accompany pursuing a higher education.

This scholarship is based upon academic achievement and leadership as expressed through co-curricular activities and community involvement. It is open to all military women and women veterans who are full-time or part-time students at CCC and are working toward an associate degree.


To donate to this scholarship, please make checks payable to Central Community College Foundation with “Women’s Vet Scholarship” in the memo or

Donate Online


Purple Heart Recipient Parking

Purple Heart Recipient Parking signCentral Community College stands by their veterans by recognizing those who have sacrificed for this country. Purple Heart parking signs are posted on the Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings campuses. We are one of only a few educational institutions in the nation to proudly show this commitment.

Veterans and Military Graduation

Sign up for your red, white and-blue honor cords

Veterans and Military Graduation Cord

As a symbolic initiative honoring our CCC graduating veteran and military students, red, white and blue honor cords will be made available to any graduating veteran student interested in wearing one during commencement. These cords signify CCC’s appreciation toward our military and veteran students for their service and sacrifice. Click the appropriate button below to sign up.

Student    Faculty/Staff

SALUTE Honor Society 

SALUTE is national academic honor society recognizing student veterans and military personnel who have demonstrated outstanding performance in the academic setting. One of the primary goals of SALUTE is to acknowledge and recognize members who have shown courage, strength, leadership, excellence and perseverance in their military endeavors and now are showing that same commitment to their academic careers.

Learn More About SALUTE

Additional Resources

VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System 

Suicide Prevention Hotlines

  • VA Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) Vets: press '1' for assistance.
  • RCS Combat Call Center: 877-WARVETS (1-877-927-8387).


Military OneSource offers educational materials and services for everyday life to current service members and their families.

Nebraska Department of Labor 

The Nebraska Department of Labor provides specialized services to men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces who have bravely served our country. Career Centers have specially trained veterans staff to assist other veterans with employment and training opportunities.

Military-to-Civilian Resume Builder

This service is provided in association with the Hiring Our Heroes initiative.

O*Net Online

Find civilian-comparable careers based on transferable skill sets.

USA Jobs

USA Jobs is the federal government's official one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information.


This organization provides various kinds of services including brief counseling to veterans and their families if the veteran is still on active duty. Reservists and National Guard personnel can also use this organization if they are still on active duty.

National Military Family Association

For military service personnel and their families.

American Gold Star Moms

Designed for mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country.

Blue Star Mothers

Designed for mothers who now have or have had children serving in the military.

Military Family Network

Created to link together community organizations, local governments and businesses with the goal of supporting family members of our armed services.


Designed to improve military quality of life with a wide range of information for troops and families.

Our Military Children

For children of deployed National Guard and reserve military.

Principles of Excellence - College Financing Plan

The Principles of Excellence program requires schools receiving federal funding through programs such as the GI Bill® to provide Veteran students their College Financial Plan, formerly known as a shopping sheet. Follow this link, College Financing Plan, log in with your student credentials and you will be able to view your personal summary of the total cost of your educational program, the costs covered by your benefits, the financial aid you may qualify for, your expected student-loan debt after you graduate and other information to help you compare aid packages offered by different schools. If you are unable to log in to WebCentral to view your plan, contact the service center at 308-398-7999. If your plan is empty or you receive a message there is no plan, please contact the Financial Aid office on your campus.

An additional resource available to you is the GI Bill® Comparison Tool.

Contact Us

Barry Horner
Veterans and Military Services Director

Patti Lee-Smith
Columbus Campus
Veterans and Military Services Coordinator

Jordan Janssen
Hastings Campus
Veterans and Military Services Coordinator

Shawn Patsios
Kearney Center 
Veterans and Military Services Coordinator