MWCC has been listed as a top military-friendly college by two organizations, including a new report that ranked MWCC No. 1 in a review of best career and technical colleges for veterans.
Public community and technical colleges accounted for six of the top 10 spots in a new survey of best skills schools for veterans by Military Times Edge, with MWCC taking the top spot among career and technical colleges. MWCC is being showcased on the Military Times and Military Times Edge websites http://militarytimes.com and affiliated Gannett Company publications, including the newsweeklies Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and the Marine Corps Times.
In addition, for the third consecutive year, MWCC has been named a Military Friendly School by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and other magazines. The 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that demonstrate outstanding services for student veterans. The 2013 list was compiled through research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. The full list of 1,739 institutions selected this year can be viewed at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com.
“Mount Wachusett Community College has a long history of serving veterans, and we’re delighted to be recognized for our commitment to those who courageously serve our country,” said President Daniel M. Asquino. “Most recently, we have enhanced our services through our new Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, which is helping veteran students and their dependents transition to college life and receive ongoing support.”
The center, established in January 2011, and other services for student veterans have helped MWCC create a culture of positive energy and enthusiasm for its military students. Established through a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the center is among the first 15 in the county selected to serve as national models and has become a staple in the lives of student veterans at MWCC. Support services address the unique academic, financial, social and physical needs to veterans transitioning to college life.
“We’ve always been veteran-friendly, but now more than ever as we recognize the need to provide the support and services to our military service members and their families as they transition to college,” said Assistant Project Director Kristine Larkin, who oversees the center. Collaborating with nonprofit community partners and building strong relationships with student veterans are contributing to the center’s success in serving students, she said. Community partners include 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.
MWCC is also a designated Yellow Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. In addition, the college developed a First year Experience course designed specifically for veterans and many of the students are active in the veterans club on campus, which is affiliated with Student Veterans of America.