military-friendly

MWCC’s Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success has become a vibrant hub on campus. Earlier this year, Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matthew Malone, center, and representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services, were among the visitors.

Mount Wachusett Community College has received its third national recognition this fall as a top military-friendly school.

This month, Military Advanced Education awarded MWCC the designation of a top military-friendly college in its 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities. In November, MWCC was named to Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2014 rankings, with special recognition as one of the country’s top community colleges for veterans. In September, MWCC was named to the 2014 Military Friendly Schools list by Victory Media for the fifth consecutive year.

The national publications provide service men and women a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them.

MAE’s 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities provides potential students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to our men and women in uniform. The publication was recently released in print and is also available online at www.mae-kmi.com.

Attributes considered in evaluating institutions for inclusion in the guide include the flexibility of online learning options, extent of transfer credits accepted by degree level, on-campus ROTC, Servicemember Opportunity Colleges (SOC) participation, on-campus active duty/veteran assistance, the support provided to the families of service members, faculty trained in veteran reintegration issues, and full-time counselors trained in veteran-specific mental health concerns.

A designated Yellow Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs with a long history of supporting veterans, MWCC is recognized for the wrap-around support it provides through the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, as well as for its vibrant Veterans Group student organization, which is a chapter of the Student Veterans of America.

Established in 2010, the center has helped MWCC create a culture of positive energy and enthusiasm for its military students. The center was among the first 15 in the county selected by the U.S. Department of Education to serve as national models. Support services address the unique academic, financial, social and physical needs to veterans transitioning to college life.

MWCC’s Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success has become a vibrant hub on campus. The college has received national recognition from several organizations for its support for veterans and military personnel, including being named for the fifth consecutive year to the Military Friendly Schools list. Staff members and student veterans include front row: Andrew Brunell, David LeBlanc, Andy Kinglsey, Nick Guthmiller; back row, Nate Radke, Center Director Kristine Larkin, Jeff Young, Chris Miller, Adam Tenney, MWCC VA certifying official Sarah Savoie, Mitchell Landry and Nicholas Jamieson.

For the fifth consecutive year, Mount Wachusett Community College has been recognized as a top military friendly school for creating a culture of positive energy and academic support for veterans, active military members and their dependents.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list, released by Victory Media, names the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation. Now in its fifth year, the list serves as the primary resource for service members and military families seeking education and captures best practices among schools in supporting military students.

“We are proud and honored to be recognized for our ongoing commitment to the men and women who courageously serve our country, and to their families who also make a tremendous sacrifice,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “It is our privilege and duty to support these heroes within our communities as they pursue academic and career goals. Moreover, their presence and active participation on our campus enriches the entire college community.”

A designated Yellow Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs with a long history of supporting veterans, MWCC was cited for the wrap-around support provided through its Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success and vibrant Veterans Group student organization, which is Student Veterans of America chapter.

In 2010, MWCC was one of 15 colleges in the country selected to establish a model center through a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Though the three-year, $400,000 grant concludes this month, MWCC is fully incorporating the center’s services and programs into its array of comprehensive student support services. The veterans’ success center is now serving more than 300 students each year. Support services address the unique academic, financial, social and physical needs to veterans, military personnel and military families transitioning to college life.

“I got here just as the center was starting up and got to see how it progressed over the years,” said Marine Corps veteran and business administration major Nick Guthmiller, who served in Iraq. “This veterans center has really helped me out. The first semester I was here I really struggled with the transition of going from one world to a completely different world. Being around other veterans who are going through the same thing really helped ease the transition.”

Ruth Robertson, who serves in the Army Reserves, enrolled at MWCC this fall and is pursuing a career in health care. The support she found at the center and among her peers has already made a tremendous difference in her transition to college, she said. “I feel comfortable here.”

In August, MWCC was recognized as one of 250 colleges and universities taking part in President Obama’s new “8 Keys to Success” initiative to help boost academic opportunities and improvement employment outcomes for veterans. The eight keys build on the administration’s work to provide veterans and military families with a high-quality, affordable education and highlight specific ways that colleges and universities can support veterans as they pursue their education and employment goals.