Community Colleges for Military Veterans

Veterans-DayIn an earlier post, we chatted a bit about why to go to a community college: Who goes there? What are the benefits? The perks? The degrees available?

It’s easy for us to talk about because we have such an outstanding community college system here in Nebraska. One of the awesome things about our community colleges is that they make it easy for veterans, and those transitioning from a military service job back into civilian life, to receive their benefits and a great education.

As we know, manufacturing is an important field with plenty of job openings for returning vets, and although the military may hone many of the important skills employers look for (teambuilding, etc.), not everyone makes it out of the military with a specialized niche knowledge like welding. So, combine the discipline, dedication, and passion from a military career with a skilled degree? That’s one marketable person.

Here are a couple of the community colleges throughout Nebraska that are proud to work with veterans, and want to make the transition from the military to education as smooth as possible.

Southeast Community College: SCC is a GI Friendly-school, meaning that they accept educational assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Armed Forces program, like tuition assistance. If you’re currently serving in the United States, overseas, or have completed your military service, you can contact the VA certifying official on staff Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm. You can click here to find a list of the documents they need you to have in order to certify your benefits, and you’ll be good to go!

North Platte Community College: The college is a host for the “At Ease” support group offered by Lutheran Family Services, facilitated by Kay Connery, a program specialist for Veterans and Family Support and a wife of a Vietnam War Veteran. The group is confidential, and a place that offers trauma treatment and therapeutic support for active military personnel, veterans, and their loved ones (particularly those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). There’s no cost to attend, and the group usually ranges from 3-8 men and women. “We know there’s a veteran population out there because a number of the students are veterans,” says Connery. “However, the support group is open to all current and former military servicemen and women, not just those who attend or work at NPCC.” Sometimes, the meeting is just an opportunity for fellowship: “It can be helpful to talk to somebody who has been there and done that. We also invite spouses to sit in on the peer-to-peer sessions because veterans often don’t tell their spouses what they’re going through.”

Western Nebraska Community College: The school welcomes all “military connected” families and students with open arms and similar benefit programs to the ones at SCC. Another helpful transition tool is the Student Veterans Organization, a student-lead group consisting of military veterans and family members. By joining the organization, students can connect with like-minded individuals and create an alumni network as well.

Questions? Comments? Want to learn more about any of the above programs? Leave a comment in the section below anytime!

photo credit: Veterans Day Parade and Honor Ceremony via photopin (license)