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College Again Named as Veteran-Friendly School

Once again, Middlesex County College has been named as one of the most veteran-friendly colleges in the United States, receiving recognition for its service to student-veterans, according to lists developed by three media companies: Military Times, Military Advanced Education, and Victory Media. This is the third year MCC has been named to the Military Times’ list, the fourth time for Military Advanced Education, and the fifth year for Victory Media. In addition, MCC was named as the number 4 two-year school in the nation for veterans by Online College Plan, a college search service for prospective students and their parents.

MCC President Joann La Perla-Morales credited the 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.”

One such veteran is Mike Gada, who was in the Army and is now a Computer Science major.

“The Veterans Center has been a focal point for making sure I’m on the correct path to achieve my full potential,” he said.

Richard Feldman, the coordinator of the Veterans Center, said he was grateful for the generous support of the Willard T.C. Johnson Foundation.

“The Foundation has allowed us to make a real difference in the lives of these men and women,” he said. “I love watching these students prosper in their transition back into civilian life. One of my favorite days of the year is Commencement, where I can watch with pride as our veterans graduate.”

Military Times publishes magazines for members in the branches of military service. Its survey, called “Best for Vets,” is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. More than 500 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey. Middlesex was ranked 10th in the nation among two-year colleges; it was the only community college in New Jersey to make the list.

“We limit our list to encourage competition, and we genuinely hope this helps raise the bar for veterans on campus,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Best for Vets.

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 2017 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 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 2017 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.

Victory Media 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.

“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to the majority of colleges gives veterans a comprehensive view of which schools are striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation’s student veterans,” said Daniel Nichols, a Navy Reserve veteran and chief product officer at Victory Media. “Military Friendly helps military families make the best use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other federal benefits while allowing us to further our goal of assisting them in finding success in their chosen career fields.”

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.

George Lisicki, a member of the MCC Board of Trustees, was the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars when the Post 9/11 GI Bill was signed in 2008. President George Bush was reluctant to sign it, because his advisors told him service members would leave the military en masse. “I told him this bill would actually encourage young men and women to join,” Mr. Lisicki said. “As I was leaving the Oval Office, he winked at me and said ‘You’ll have your G.I. Bill.’”

Mr. Lisicki said he was very proud of Middlesex County College and the work of the Veterans Center.

“They’re doing a wonderful job,” he said. “And that’s proven by all these awards. They help these young people transition from military to civilian life.”