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From combat to the classroom

Spring 2013 | Archives

Support services help ease the transition for veterans

Veteran Matt Hyland came to MCC
                                    to get the most from his GI Bill benefits.
More than two million Americans were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade. Many returning home are looking for ways to integrate back into the civilian workforce. Metropolitan Community College was the first college in Nebraska to offer full support services to military/veteran students seeking to utilize their GI Bill benefits to fund their education—and transition back into civilian life.

"Students have the ability to go to school financially, but you've got to make it easy for them to transition," said Bobby Loud, director of Military and Veterans Support Services at MCC. "They need to know how to get started and use their benefits."

To meet the needs of veteran students, MVSS offers a one-stop Veteran Center at the South Omaha Campus to support current military service members, veterans and their families as they pursue their academic, career and personal goals by easing the transition from military to college life. The transition to the classroom after serving in the military can be a challenge, especially for first-time college students, and needs may vary. Some students may be dealing with traumatic brain injuries or PTSD, while others need help adjusting to a new process.

The center, adjacent to Veteran Financial Services, offers numerous transition assistance and resource services that are unique to military/veteran students, including: military-specific administrative and advising staff; a computer lab; a Student Veterans of America chapter; and a website (www.mccneb.edu/mvss) where students can access information pertaining to employment opportunities, community resources, scholarships and important College resources such as Disability Support Services.

"Military students are disciplined. If they sign up, they show up. The retention Support services help ease the transition for veterans rate of a veteran student, provided the right support services, is higher than the average population. On the other hand, without those support services, retention goes down," Loud said.

MCC serves a diverse military student population of more than 1,400 students. At least 30 percent take classes at the South Omaha Campus. Many choose to enter fields similar to their military jobs. "In some cases, a community college can be a better fit to enhance their skills in trade areas," Loud said.

MCC is recognized as
                                    military-friendly by G.I. Jobs. All degrees are approved for GI Bill
                                    benefits. MCC accepts credit for military experience. Student Matt Hyland said, "I came to MCC because I earned college credit for my military experience." Advisors offer military transfer credit evaluations and articulation agreements, guiding students toward courses that will satisfy bachelor degree requirements should they choose to continue their education.

Affordable tuition cost makes MCC a good choice for many military students and families. MCC was named to the coveted 2013 Military-Friendly Schools list, which honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America's military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. For more information, call 402-738-4774.

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