KCC's commitment to veterans continues

KCC's commitment to veterans continues

Posted On: 05/05/23

Military Friendly School logo, KCC designated for 2023Kankakee Community College is one of 28 small community colleges across the nation with a gold ranking in the 2023 Guide to Military Friendly® Schools, published in conjunction with “G.I. Jobs” magazine.

Typically, KCC has about 60 veterans who enroll each year, according to the college’s Office of Financial Aid. Among veterans, there are 35 KCC student veterans currently utilizing VA Education benefits.

“KCC is very proud to be designated as a Military Friendly® School,” said Kendra Souligne, director of financial aid & student engagement. “We are genuinely committed to assisting those who served or are currently serving in the U.S. military and their family members as they transition into the college setting. Our main goal is to guide them in utilizing their federal and state VA educational benefits and financial aid, all while supporting their personal, professional, and academic goals”

Throughout Illinois, there are only 14 community colleges which achieved a Military Friendly® designation this year.

According to militaryfriendly.com, “The data we evaluate to determine Military Friendly® designations and awards are sourced from three categories, which we call the three P's: Public data sources, Proprietary data from our survey and Personal data from surveys of veterans themselves. Our Military Friendly Advisory Council then gives guidance including diverse perspective on methodology. Data is then pushed through a pre-determined algorithm as per our methodology. Results are audited by EY (Ernst & Young).” Measurements included “ability to meet thresholds for retention, graduation, job placement, repayment, persistence, and loan default rates for all students and specifically, for student veterans,” according to the site.

The 2023-24 Military Friendly® Schools list is published in the May 2023 issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com/schools.

“Military Friendly® Schools strive towards and succeed in the areas that matter most in helping veterans make the transition from the military to school and, ultimately, satisfying careers in the civilian world,” according to militaryfriendly.com.

More information about KCC’s educational benefits for military veterans, spouses and dependents, is at kcc.edu/veterans. Community members and prospective students can request information at veterans.kcc.edu, email finaid@kcc.edu, or phone 815-802-8550.Veterans Mark Cross, Juan Perez, Rodolfo Leal and Cesar Avalos attend the 2023 Student Veterans of America conference

In January, four veterans represented KCC at the 2023 Student Veterans of America conference—the largest gathering of student veterans in the country. KCC students who participated are Mark Cross of Watseka, Juan Perez of St. Anne, and Rodolfo Leal of Bradley. Cesar Avalos, KCC’s coordinator for workforce opportunities & career services, also attended.

“What made the convention more unique for me was that I experienced it from three different points of view: Veteran, staff member in higher education, and student within higher education,” said Avalos, who is studying human resources at American Military University.

“As a student and veteran, it was great to see what the SVA organization is doing to support student veterans,” Avalos continued. “The transition from being an active servicemember to being a full-time student can be intimidating. Organizations like SVA and events like their (convention) make this transition easier. Aside from the workshops focused around ‘knowing your worth,’ being able to network with other organizations that are looking to employ student veterans goes a long way. It was a great feeling to be around those who understood the lingo in many cases, hear that they’ve been through the same process that I have.

“We definitely brought back some ideas … that we can incorporate to our program to make it that much better. Being new to the environment in higher education, it is exciting to know that there is a way that I can continue to assist and have an impact on student veterans.”

Military-friendly attributes of Kankakee Community College

  • Full-time advisers on staff, including career advising
  • Priority registration
  • Career Services
  • Scholarships for military students and veterans
  • Veteran’s Resource Center, which is staffed and offers dedicated resources
  • The KCC Veterans Association is an approved chapter of the Student Veterans of America and SALUTE Veterans National Honors Society.
  • Military students called to active service return without penalty
  • In-district tuition for CH. 33 Post 9/11 and CH. 30 Montgomery GI Bill recipients
  • Awards credit for College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and/or DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) exams
  • Accepts the ACE recommendations for awarding credit for CLEP and/or DSST
  • Gives college credit for military training and experience
  • Annual military friendly events: Honorary Veteran Stole for graduating service members and a Veteran Recognition Ceremony.
  • Disability Services
  • Tutoring Services

About Military Friendly® Schools

The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources from more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.