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Supportive education to veterans and service members

Spring 2012 | Archives

MCC strives to meet the educational needs of the greater Omaha community. When the needs are those of current military service members, veterans and their families, MCC's mission becomes very special.

"Every college provides some type of veteran support services, but MCC takes it one step further and is really doing something unique," said Bobby R. Loud, MCC's director of military and veterans support services. "MCC provides services that not only cater to veterans but also to active duty, reserve/guard, military family members, military retirees and Department of Defense civilians."

MCC's Military and Veterans Support Services department is where students can access programs and services specifically designed for active military, veterans and their family members; this includes military student transfer assistance, academic
advising, academic assistance, vet to vet mentoring programs, community program referrals and counseling referrals.

MCC also has a Veteran Financial Services department that provides advisory services relating to educational benefits for VA-eligible students planning to enroll or already enrolled at MCC. All degrees, certificates and diplomas offered at MCC are
approved by the Veterans Administration for use with military funding resources.

"MCC has been ranked among the top 15 percent of military-friendly institutions in the nation for three consecutive years by G.I. Jobs magazine, and the College has been a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium for more than 20 years," said Randy Schmailzl, MCC president. "These distinctions indicate our dedication to ensuring the success of veterans and active duty service members at MCC."

MCC serviced a total of 1,423 unduplicated military/veteran students during the 2009–10 and 2010–11 academic years. That number is expected to grow in future years as more troops are withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan and return to the
metropolitan area.

Matt Stevens, president of MCC's Student Veterans of America chapter and Iraq War veteran, is currently pursuing a degree at MCC in human services with a goal to assist other veterans as they transition from a military life to civilian.

"I am so grateful for the assistance I received from the veteran support services at MCC," said Stevens. "After returning from Iraq, I suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The anxiety I was feeling made sitting though class almost unbearable. I
contemplated dropping out of college. MCC gave me the support system I needed to continue pursuing my degree."

MCC's goal is to ease the transition from military to college life, establish connections to form a cooperative community of military/veteran students and equip students with knowledge of College and community resources.

"MCC's faculty, academic advisors and Disability Support Services staff are aware of the unique needs of veterans and active duty military members who may be in the classroom," said Loud. "It's one thing to get a veteran student to a college campus, but if that student gets to campus and doesn't receive support services, it makes it more difficult for him/her to complete a degree. Peer and institutional support is very important."

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