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US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Holds Meetings at RCCD


US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Holds Meetings at RCCD

​​​On October 6, 2021, the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis R. McDonough, visited the Riverside Community College District (RCCD) at the Culinary Arts Academy and District Offices in downtown Riverside. Congressman Mark Takano invited the secretary to a breakfast served by the student chefs of the Culinary Arts Academy, and scheduled meetings with District and college leaders, Veteran students, representatives of local Veterans groups, and members of Riverside County Veterans' Services Organization in the morning.

takano meeting with VA Secretary


Members of the Board of Trustees at RCCD and Chancellor Wolde-Ab Isaac welcomed the distinguished visitors. Board President Mary Figueroa, observed that this was the first time in her recollection that a member of the President's Cabinet responsible for Veterans Affairs had visited the District. The Presidents of Moreno Valley College (MVC), Norco College (NC), and Riverside City College (RCC) also attended the breakfast and meetings.

NC President Monica Green, and NC Vice President of Academic Affairs Samuel Lee, gave a quick presentation to the secretary and the congressman about the Military Articulation Platform (MAP) initiative that the college has led through the Inland Empire/Desert Regional Consortium of colleges to give soldiers and Veterans college credit for training received during military service.

Board of Trustees meeting with VA Secretary


According to Lee, “MAP links the college credit recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) with local courses at California's community colleges and universities, allowing them to award a year or more of college credit to veterans for their military service." President Green introduced successful student Veterans who have benefited from the pilot MAP initiative at Norco College with 30 credit units granted based upon their military training and experience. She pointed out that these student Veterans are continuing their education at California universities with a year saved on their military benefits.

Student Veterans, Jamin Northrop (MVC), Mauricio Cano Cortez (NC), and Luis Valdovinos (RCC) met Secretary McDonough and Congressman Takano during the breakfast. Associate Deputy Under Secretary Erica M. Scavella and CalVet Secretary Vito D. Imbasciani were also in attendance at the question-and-answer session with local Veterans group leaders during breakfast.

va secretary meeting with board of trustee members
Chancellor Isaac observed, “It was an honor for us to meet with Secretary McDonough and so many other influential leaders of Veterans Affairs here in Riverside. I believe great progress will be made in our MAP initiative as we engage in these meetings with our national, state and regional leaders."


Published by External Relations & Strategic Communications