Top College for Veterans Awarded by 3 Media Outlets
Middlesex County College is one of the most veteran-friendly colleges in the United States, according to lists developed by three media companies: Military Times, Military Advanced Education, and Victory Media. This is the second year MCC has been named to the Military Times list, the third time for Military Advanced Education, and the fourth year for Victory Media.
MCC President Joann La Perla-Morales credited the MCC Veterans Services Center for the rankings. Established in 2011 with support from the Willard T.C. Johnson Foundation, the center’s mission is to assist with quality education and comprehensive support services.
“The center has done a great job in assisting military veterans as they transition to civilian life,” she said. “They make sure veterans receive all the entitlements for which they are eligible, coordinate services they need to be successful, and create an environment where they can socialize with other military veterans.”
Richard Feldman, the coordinator of the Veterans Center, said he was also grateful for the support of the Willard T.C. Johnson Foundation.
“We are proud to give back to these Middlesex County vets who have given so much of themselves,” he said. “We are honored to be recognized by these prestigious organizations, because it is validation that we are giving our student-veterans every opportunity to succeed. I love watching these students prosper in their transition back into civilian life by doing well in the classroom and receiving their degrees from MCC.”
Military Times publishes magazines for members in the branches of military service. It called its survey “Best for Vets.” More than 600 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey. Middlesex was ranked eighth in the nation among two-year colleges; it was the only community college in New Jersey to make the list.
“It’s been amazing to witness how colleges all across higher education have embraced service members and their families,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times’ Best for Vets rankings and special editions. “Over the past six years of our surveys, we’ve seen so many schools first begin to foster – through new policies, services and dedicated facilities – and then nurture these wonderful communities.”
Military Times’ annual Best for Vets survey asks colleges and universities to document an array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties; and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense Departments, as well as Education Department.
“We award the Best for Vets designation to the very best – the colleges that really are setting the example,” Miller said.
The rankings are published in full in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times.
Military Advanced Education (MAE) named MCC a Top School in its 2016 MAE Guide to Colleges & Universities, measuring best practices in military and veteran education. It will be released in the December issue of MAE, and available online at www.mae-kmi.com.
The guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year, and two-year colleges. From community colleges to state universities, online universities and nationally known centers of higher learning, MAE’s 2016 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to the men and women in uniform.
“We believe the guide serves as an invaluable tool for both education services officers and transition officers when advising service members about their educational opportunities,” said Kelly Fodel, MAE’s editor. “We used strict criteria to individually evaluate the submissions of respondents.”
Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named MCC to the coveted Military Friendly Schools® list. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses and ensure their success on campus.
The Military Friendly Schools website, www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, also features interactive and search tools to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences.
Veterans Week at MCC, November 9-13, started with a flag raising by the Middlesex County Department of Corrections and a speech by New Jersey Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Raymond Zawacki; the next day, the MCC community boxed donated supplies going to service members overseas; the student-vets marched in the Highland Park-New Brunswick parade (opposite page photo); and then watched a documentary, “The Hornet’s Nest,” about a nine-day firefight in Afghanistan. At left, MCC student Barbara Roberts packs supplies.