Student Stories

ECE alumni event Nov 2015MWCC’s Early Childhood Education program recently hosted its fourth annual alumni event at the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education. It was an evening full of friendship, inspiration, and networking. More than 80 current students, faculty, staff, Garrison teachers, alumni and their families attended the Seuss-inspired event.

Alumni events, such as this one, are an important opportunity for current students to make connections with alum who may work in the field.

“These connections not only provide career opportunities but more importantly, set the foundation for a supportive network” said current student Andrea Bartlett.

Emily Wuoti, a December graduate and Leadership in Early Childhood Education student, spearheaded this year’s event. “I wanted to create an event to help inspire current students who are new or may be doubtful that this is the right field for them.” She invited alumni to share their success stories about their journeys and offer advice to current students who may not know where their journey will take them.

This particular event posed a question to all who were involved: Where do you see yourself going from here?

“This was a great opportunity to really think about goals and plans” said current student Kelly Winship.

Additionally, Student Life Coordinator Sandy Arsenault, a long-time friend of the Early Education Club, was honored at the event.

MWCC Early Childhood Education faculty Dr. Rosanne Morel, Dr. Maryann Kane and Professor Maureen Provost “are so very proud of the exceptional work, leadership, professionalism and passion” Emily exhibited throughout her time at Mount Wachusett Community College, Professor Provost said. “She exemplifies the expectations we have for our students and we are looking forward to seeing ‘the places SHE will go’ as she continues her journey. Children and families are fortunate indeed to have Emily in the field.”

- Emily Wuoti and Maureen Provost

STEM College Day at Devens

Leominster High School senior Jonathan Nunez, maneuvering equipment used in advanced manufacturing, joined classmates from LHS and the Leominster Center for Technical Education Innovation at a STEM College Day at Mount Wachusett Community College’s Devens campus

Dozens of seniors from Leominster High School and the LHS Center for Technical Education Innovation explored career options in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields during a STEM College Day at Mount Wachusett Community College’s Devens campus.

More than 60 students who participate in the Math Modeling program at the schools attended the half-day event, which included demonstrations and hands-on activities ranging from capturing their own DNA to 3D printing, mechatronics, quality assurance and quality control.

“The Math Modeling Program has meant so much for our students,” said CTEi Director David Fiandaca. “For many years we struggled with our students not being prepared to do college math upon graduation from CTEi. We were actually contemplating a software program to help students improve their test scores on the Accuplacer Test. Then, we had an opportunity to collaborate with folks from MWCC, shared our concerns with them, and began to investigate how we could work together to solve this problem.”

“The rest is history. We could not be more grateful for the efforts of both faculties at MWCC and LHS/CTEi for the tremendous success of the Math Modeling program. A much greater percentage of our students are now able to begin their college course work with the math skills that enable them to be successful with college level math,” Fiandaca said. “This helps to keep our students in school and moving forward to a successful attainment of a college degree.”

“Mount Wachusett Community College, Leominster High School and Leominster Center for Technical Education Innovation have formed a wonderful collaboration to develop the Math Modeling programs,” said Christine Davis, MWCC STEM Starter Academy recruiter. “The goal of Math Modeling is to ensure that seniors in high school are college and career ready in mathematics. As part of their math studies, we expose them to the hands-on applications of what they are learning in class. MWCC’s Devens campus is the ideal place to showcase this.”

Math Modeling was developed by faculty and staff from MWCC and Leominster Public Schools in 2013. The program expanded the following year to include seniors at Fitchburg High School and Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School. The Math Modeling cohort now exceeds 500 students with the addition of seniors at Gardner, Athol and Murdock high schools.

“Seeing the opportunities what each class has to offer – all of it can help me with deciding on a major,” said Zach Oldham, a senior at LHS/CTEi. “I like the DNA necklaces experiment. Seeing what makes ‘you’ is pretty cool.”

laptops for vetsThrough the generosity of corporations and individuals, student veterans at Mount Wachusett Community College have 16 new laptop computers readily available for their use while pursuing their college degrees.

Donations to the Laptops for Veterans program have topped $20,350, which has allowed the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success to replace five outdated computers and acquire 16 new ones that veterans and active military personnel can borrow as needed. The fundraising initiative was launched by MWCC Student Trustee and Army veteran Thomas Berger.

Earlier this year, Rollstone Bank & Trust donated $3,000, followed by Wayne Canty and the Canty Family Charitable Foundation, with a $5,000 donation. MWCC alumnus and 2015 commencement speaker Kevin Berg sent six laptops valued at $9,000. Additional donors include Heywood Healthcare President and CEO Winfield Brown, George and Mary-Beth Jones, Pat Dakota and Janice Kulig.

“We now have 16 laptops that are either in use or readily available for use, with the potential to replace them as needed,” said MWCC Veterans Services Director Bob Mayer. “We are grateful to all who have contributed to this initiative.”

The Veteran Success Center at MWCC was created five years ago to meet the unique needs of veterans transitioning to college.

Tax-deductible donations may be made payable to MWCC Foundation with “Laptops for Vets” in the memo line, and mailed to MWCC Foundation, 444 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440, or contact Jo-Ann Meagher at jmeagher@mwcc.mass.edu. To learn more about Laptops for Vets, visit mwcc.edu/laptopsforvets.

ICEI logoMount Wachusett Community College and four public school districts have been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Baker-Polito Administration to plan an Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program that will enhance academic opportunities for high school students with severe disabilities.

The partnership includes the Gardner, Fitchburg, Leominster, and Ayer-Shirley school districts and the Central Area Programs and Services (CAPS) Collaborative, a Westminster-based regional educational collaborative.

“We are excited about this new partnership and the opportunities it will create for students with intellectual disabilities,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “Students will grow personally from their experiences participating in college courses and campus activities, and gain knowledge and skills that will help them flourish in the workplace.”

MWCC administrators and high school principals, special education coordinators and community partners held their first planning meeting on Nov. 23 to begin building a program that could be implemented in fall 2016.

Administered by the state Executive Office of Education, the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (ICEI) offers grants to fund programs supporting public high school students with severe disabilities, ages 18 to 22, who have not passed MCAS, the opportunity to participate in inclusive, credit and noncredit college courses to increase their school and work success.

Research shows that students benefit academically and transition to young adulthood more readily when they have the opportunity to engage in all college-related activities rather than staying at high school. Student participation in this grant program may be incorporated into a student’s transition program, as determined through the school district’s special education process.

“Increasing the diversity of our workforce to include more young adults with intellectual disabilities complements our administration’s commitment to developing economic vitality,” said Governor Charlie Baker said. “The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment initiative is a national model for building learning experiences and academic achievements for lifelong success.”

The grant will facilitate a planning partnership led by Mount Wachusett in conjunction with educators from partnering public school systems. The partnership is intended to create a program that gives students access to college academics and other college related activities.

“Developing clear career pathways that are built on strong partnerships between schools and community colleges for all students, including those with intellectual disabilities, is an important priority,” said Secretary of Education James Peyser. “Collaborative partnerships such as these are critical to streamlining productive enrollment-to-career pathways that are essential to a vital and diverse economy.”

Massachusetts is one of the few states to provide college and university opportunities for young adults with intellectual disabilities while they are still in high school. Funded by the Commonwealth since 2008, the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program has grown to 14 public two-and four-year institutions supporting over 800 students. One hundred and thirty students are enrolled in the program this academic year.

 

 

Jesse Derleth with Carolina Silvera and Whitney Bailey

Jesse Derleth, center, Mount Wachusett Community College student activity officer for GEAR UP, assists Fitchburg High School seniors Carolina Silvera, left, and Whitney Bailey with their college applications during the Massachusetts College Application Celebration coordinated by the college and the high school’s guidance department.

A majority of Fitchburg High School seniors will celebrate Thanksgiving with more than a meal under their belts. By the holiday, more than 92 percent of the class will have submitted their college applications for fall 2016.Mount Wachusett Community College and Fitchburg High partnered to bring the Massachusetts College Application Celebration to the school this week. This is the fourth year Massachusetts has participated in the national initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Education’s GEAR UP program and the second year the event has been held at FHS.

By the morning of Day 2, the class had exceeded the event’s 90-percent goal and was well on its way to reaching the high school’s 100-percent goal.

“The Massachusetts College Application Celebration has been a great opportunity to motivate and excite our students about a crucial part of the college success process,” said High School Principal Jeremy Roche.  “The ultimate goal of having 100% of our seniors apply to college before graduation reinforces the high expectations we have as a school community. This event highlights that college and career readiness is the goal for every FHS student,” he said. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is administered by MWCC’s Division of Access & Transition in partnership with the high school through a grant  from the U.S. Department of Education. The majority of students in the graduating class of 2016 have received intensive college access and success services since middle school. With so much preparation behind them, students were eager to participate in the application challenge this year, said MWCC GEAR UP Director Andrew Goodwin.

Specific services include academic counseling, tutoring, homework support, after school academic and social activities, college awareness and financial aid workshops MCAS, PSAT/SAT preparation, and college admissions assistance.

By encouraging high school students to apply to college early in their senior year, they are more likely to apply to several schools and find the best match for their academic goals, said Lea Ann Scales, MWCC Vice President of External Affairs, Communications and K-12 Partnerships.

“We’ve been doing a lot of good work to help them succeed in middle school and high school, and we’re coming to the point where it all pays off. They have a lot of milestones this year – applying to schools, being accepted and receiving financial aid packages, and ultimately enrolling. We’re extremely proud of these students,” she said.

Damon Thammalangsy, who plans to study business at the University of Texas, said GEAR UP has helped him navigate through the steps of applying for college, financial aid and scholarship while developing leadership skills. “It opened a lot of opportunities for me.”

Inspired by her mother, Jaelyn Sanchez, plans to study psychology and ultimately earn her master’s degree and pursue a career working with children with autism. While earning her degrees, she is also following in her grandfather’s footsteps, serving in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Carolina Silvera is preparing to enroll in MWCC’s Pre-Healthcare Academy, which leads students directly into the college’s nursing program following a year of co-requisites. The GEAR UP program not only helped her transition to college, but transition to the U.S. after moving from Uruguay a year ago.

The GEAR UP team “was there for me every step of the way,” said Whitney Bailey, an aspiring attorney. “They are more than staff, they become mentors.”

MWCC hunger banquet 2016

Students representing the world’s poorest shared meager bowls of rice and water, while a much smaller group, representing the world’s wealthiest, dined on a full meal during a hunger banquet hosted Nov. 19 by Mount Wachusett Community College’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement and Green Street Café.

Students representing the world’s poorest shared meager bowls of rice and water, while a much smaller group, representing the world’s wealthiest, dined on a full meal during a hunger banquet hosted Nov. 19 by Mount Wachusett Community College’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement and Green Street Café.

The event aims to raise awareness of world poverty and economic inequality by providing students with varying meals and levels of service, based on the distribution of income and on chance – very often the sole determinant of one’s economic standing. Participants representing the 20 percent of high-income individuals were served a pasta entre with vegetables, rolls and soda. Middle-income participants, who comprise 30 percent of the population, served themselves rice and beans. Finally, students portraying the 50 percent of low-income individuals sat on the floor and received one ladle of rice, no silverware and a cup of water.

While students ate, faculty and staff speakers highlighted a range of statistics on world poverty and hunger. An estimated 2.5 billion people live in poverty, while 870 million suffer from chronic hunger.

“The issue is not a shortage of food,” explained Assistant Professor of Philosophy Daniel Soucy. “There is plenty of food to feed the world now.” War, economic inequality, and place of birth are among the factors that determine one’s station in life, he said.

Following the banquet, students from each income group reflected on the experience.

“The least we can do is feed people,” a young woman from the middle bracket called out. “I feel it’s the least we can do to make this world just a little bit better.”

Tickets to the banquet were sold for $1 and the money raised was donated to MWCC’s Students Supporting our Students (SOS) office food assistance program to help students in need.

The event is incorporated into a national initiative on economic inequality spearheaded by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. MWCC and Keene State College are co-leading more than 30 participating colleges and universities in the three-year initiative.

“It’s active learning,” said Shelley Errington Nicholson, MWCC Director of Community Learning. “I don’t think you can make this point in any better way than to do something like this.”

 

 

Lunenburg fire dept  MWCC students 1

Lunenburg Fire Chief Patrick Sullivan, firefighters Skyler Kozloski, Benjamin Boudreau and Tyler Pelkey, and Fred LeBlanc, MWCC Fire Science Technology program coordinator and former Leominster Fire Chief.

Three Mount Wachusett Community College students are receiving hands-on training as on-call firefighters with the Lunenburg Fire Department while pursuing their college degree in Fire Science Technology.Tyler Pelkey, 20, of Lunenburg, Skyler Kozloski, 20, of Fitchburg, and Benjamin Boudreau, 19, of Leominster, all certified Emergency Medical Technicians, have spent the past year serving overnight shifts at the fire station as part of the unique “live-in” component of MWCC’s associate degree program.

Concurrent with their academic training and experience with the department, the trio completed 240 hours of training over the past four months with the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s Call/Volunteer Training Program. They graduated on Nov. 5, and are now fully appointed members of the Lunenburg department as on call firefighters.

“Lunenburg has been an outstanding host of this program and has supported us throughout the Fire Science Technology program,” said MWCC program coordinator Fred LeBlanc, a former chief of the Leominster Fire Department.

MWCC’s Fire Science program is based on a model curriculum established by the National Fire Academy. This model establishes a Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) network of emergency services related to education and training providers. The national model provides an integrated, competency-based system of fire and emergency services professional development. The FESHE curriculum is transferable toward a bachelor’s degree, and the National Fire Academy also issues certificates to students completing the core courses of the associate degree.

The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy training applies toward the college degree as a three-credit college course, Principles of Emergency Services, and also provides 25 of the 40 continuing education hours that EMTs need to complete every two years as part of their certification, LeBlanc said.

All three students have aspired to work as firefighters since childhood, and expressed gratitude for the Lunenburg Fire Department and MWCC for the opportunities presented through the partnership.

Pelkey will earn his associate degree in December and plans to transfer his credits toward a bachelor’s degree. He is following in the footsteps of his father, who was a firefighter in the Air Force and in Concord, Mass.

Kozloski was inspired to become a firefighter after watching the film “Ladder 49,” and Boudreau made his career choice after shadowing members of the Leominster Fire Department. “I like to help out. I can’t really seeing myself doing anything other than that,” he said of his chosen profession.

Fire Chief Patrick Sullivan praised the academic program and its live-in component. “I wish they had this when I was going to school. This program has worked out very well for us and it has worked out well for them because it gives them experience, training and a foot in the door. The training and experience they have gained will serve them well as they move on in their fire service careers.”

The program covers a wide range of topics necessary for today’s professionals, from medical emergencies to hazardous materials and recognizing potential public safety threats. Students can opt in to the live-in component of MWCC’s academic program. It is not a requirement of the degree, but helps make the graduates much more marketable when searching for a job, Sullivan said.

“In the last 20 to 30 years the job has become much more technical.  Years ago, most people thought all you needed to be a firefighter was a strong back and a lot of bravery.” Sullivan said.

“Those traits are still needed today, but there is so much more to the job.  We still use the term fire department out of tradition, but it is more of an all-hazard response agency. We deal with fires, medical emergencies , hazardous materials as well as specialized rescue situations, code enforcement and safety education. The old saying “When all else fails, call the Fire Department” still applies today.”

VisionsLogoStudents with disabilities can tap into a variety of support services to help them succeed in college through a new grant-funded program available at Mount Wachusett Community College.

MWCC has been awarded a five-year, $1.1 million TRIO Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help students with disabilities graduate with an associate degree or academic certificate and continue on for a bachelor’s degree.

The new program was developed based on an extensive review of best practices in SSS programs across the country and the needs of students with disabilities. The goal is to improve student outcomes in the areas of retention, graduation and transfer to four-year institutions.

“We are delighted to receive this highly competitive TRIO grant to continue programs that provide students with the tools and skills they need to succeed in college and earn a degree,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “We are most grateful to our federal legislative delegation for their ongoing support of these programs and commitment to our students and the economic health of our region,” he said.

“This TRIO grant recognizes Mount Wachusett Community College’s strong commitment to making sure students with disabilities have access to the resources and support they need to do well in school and to graduate,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “Programs like these at MWCC are an important part of how we build opportunities for all our students to succeed, and I’m glad this funding will help the college expand its efforts.”

“In order for our students to compete in the 21st century innovation economy, they need to be prepared with the skills of tomorrow,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “This grant will ensure Mount Wachusett Community College continues to equip low-income and first generation students to compete in the global economy. I congratulate Mount Wachusett Community College for securing this funding and for its commitment to helping students of all backgrounds and abilities achieve their dreams.”

“When every student has the opportunity to succeed, our communities are stronger. With this TRIO grant, Mount Wachusett Community College will have the resources it needs to help more students with disabilities complete the first step of their college education and continue on the path to promising careers,” Congressman Jim McGovern said. “I am grateful to the Department of Education for investing in our community and look forward to seeing the difference this funding will make for so many families.”

“Using federal funds to partner with local institutions to address the needs of the region is a key tool in ensuring all people have the opportunity to pursue higher education,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “The significant return on these investments will have ongoing reverberations for many years to come, as more students are encouraged and able to complete their college careers and enter the workforce with the skills necessary to succeed,” she said.

“Mount Wachusett received these funds after a rigorous grant process, which speaks to both the quality of their applications and the school in general. They exemplify the growing trend of Third District institutions that are becoming leaders in Massachusetts’ academic world, but also in important industries, such as healthcare, all while pursuing innovative ways to provide academic opportunities to all students. I look forward to seeing the far-reaching benefits take hold,” Tsongas said.

Services will include a first-year program orientation and first-year experience seminar; a summer bridge program and fall foundation lab course focused on math, reading and writing skills remediation; individual academic plan development, weekly academic coaching and counseling through the first year; individualized and group tutoring in math, writing, reading and non-cognitive skills; an exclusive math cohort course with supplemental instruction; financial aid advising and financial literacy education; transfer counseling; individualized personal, career and academic counseling; cultural enrichment activities; faculty and peer mentoring; and assistive technology training.

The grant follows two additional TRIO grants awarded to the college this summer. In July, MWCC was awarded two, five-year TRIO grants totaling $2.9 million to continue its two existing TRIO Student Support Services programs, the Visions Program and the Rx program for healthcare majors. The programs serve 330 students annually. Through this new grant, the Visions program is expanding to serve an additional 100 students each year.

 

medical-documents-stethoscopeMount Wachusett Community College and the Fitchburg and Leominster public school districts are creating a new Workforce Diversity Pipeline program for students interested in healthcare careers.

MWCC has been awarded a five-year, $2.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health to create the Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program. The program, which also addresses a national initiative to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities, will offer counseling, coaching, field trips, guest speakers, and dual enrollment courses for 120 high school students attending Fitchburg High School, Leominster High School and Leominster Center for Technical Education Innovation.

The goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented minority and disadvantaged healthcare providers by creating a high school to college pipeline of students who plan to enter the healthcare field. Health disparities – differences in health outcomes that are closely linked with social, economic, and environmental disadvantage – are often driven by the social conditions in which individuals live, learn, work and play. The workforce pipeline initiative aligns with federal initiatives to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities, known as the HHS Disparities Action Plan.

“We are grateful to our federal legislative delegation for their ongoing support of students in our region,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “We look forward to this new partnership with the Fitchburg and Leominster school districts to prepare students for careers in healthcare, provide access to higher education, and ultimately work to address disparities in healthcare,” he said.

“It’s great that Mount Wachusett Community College is partnering with the Fitchburg and Leominster school districts to create this new opportunity for students interested in healthcare careers,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “The Workforce Diversity Pipeline program will provide significant support and guidance to help put young people on a path to college, and I’m very glad the federal government is supporting it with this grant,” she said.

“In order for our students to compete in the 21st century innovation economy, they need to be prepared with the skills of tomorrow,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “This grant will ensure Mount Wachusett Community College continues to equip low-income and first generation students to compete in the global economy. I congratulate Mount Wachusett Community College for securing this funding and for its commitment to helping students of all backgrounds and abilities achieve their dreams.”

“Healthcare is one of our country’s fastest-growing industries and preparing today’s students to fill those jobs is vitally important to supporting healthy communities and a strong economy,” Congressman Jim McGovern said. “As we add more and more good-paying jobs in this industry, we must ensure that all of our students and graduates have the opportunity to enter this field.  With this grant, Mount Wachusett Community College and Fitchburg and Leominster public school districts will be able to partner on a new Workforce Diversity Pipeline program that will help to achieve that goal,” he said.

“Using federal funds to partner with local institutions to address the needs of the region is a key tool in ensuring all people have the opportunity to pursue higher education,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “The significant return on these investments will have ongoing reverberations for many years to come, as more students are encouraged and able to complete their college careers and enter the workforce with the skills necessary to succeed,” she said.

“Mount Wachusett received these funds after a rigorous grant process, which speaks to both the quality of their applications and the school in general. They exemplify the growing trend of Third District institutions that are becoming leaders in Massachusetts’ academic world, but also in important industries, such as healthcare, all while pursuing innovative ways to provide academic opportunities to all students. I look forward to seeing the far-reaching benefits take hold,” Tsongas said.

Within five years, two cohorts of ninth graders from the classes of fall 2015 and fall 2016 will graduate from high school prepared to enter MWCC’s Pre-Healthcare Academy. By the end of their second semester at MWCC, students will have completed 15 college credits. By earning dual enrollment college credits, students can complete a healthcare certificate program within the first year or two of college, and an associate degree within three years of entering college. Students are motivated to transfer to a four-year institution to continue with healthcare studies.

 

2016_BFV_COLLEGES-lowresMount Wachusett Community College has been designated one of the country’s best two-year colleges for veterans, service members and their families in the newly released Best for Vets 2016: Colleges list released Nov. 9 by Military Times Media Group.

MWCC ranked sixth among two-year schools, moving up a notch from last year. This is the sixth consecutive year MWCC has been recognized by Military Times as a top military and veteran friendly college. The announcement follows recognition last week by Victory Media, which named MWCC to its 2016 list of Military Friendly schools in the country.

“I am proud that Mount Wachusett Community College continues to be recognized as one of the top schools in the country for veterans, active members of the military and their dependents,” said President Daniel M. Asquino. “MWCC has a long history of serving veterans, and we’re delighted to be recognized for our commitment to those who courageously serve our country. These students bring great leadership skills to our campus and ultimately to our workforce. They are a tremendous asset to our communities.”

MWCC veterans appreciation breakfast 2015

MWCC Veterans Services Director Bob Mayer, second from left, with student veterans Stanley Choruzek, Ben Blake and Barry Neal during the college’s annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast on Nov. 4.

Long considered a haven for veterans over the past five decades, MWCC launched its Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success in 2010 to address the unique academic, financial, social and physical needs of veterans, military personnel and military families transitioning to college life. Student veterans are also active members of the campus community, participating in such clubs and organizations as the Veterans Group and Student Government Association.In August 2013, MWCC became one of the first 250 higher-education institutions to implement President Obama’s “8 Keys to Success” initiative to help boost academic opportunities and improvement employment outcomes for veterans.MWCC maintains community partnerships with the Montachusett Veteran Outreach Center, the Northeast Veteran Training & Rehabilitation Center operated by Veteran Homestead, Inc., the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services’ SAVE program, and local posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.The Best for Vets 2016 list is an independent news project that evaluates organizations based on their support systems and campus cultures to provide a reference point for service members, military veterans and their families. In order be considered for the rankings, MWCC and other colleges documented these services in an extensive 150-question survey. More than 600 colleges participated this year.

“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. 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 current issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times and online at MilitaryTimes.com, as well as ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com.

For the full Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 rankings, go to: www.militarytimes.com/bestforvets-colleges2016.