KCC earns Top 10 Military Friendly rating

KCC earns Top 10 Military Friendly rating

Numerous services available to veterans

KCC earns Top 10 Military Friendly rating

Posted On: 03/14/22

Kankakee Community College has been named a Top 10 Military Friendly® School.

KCC ranks seventh among all small community colleges in the upcoming 2022 Guide to Military Friendly Schools, published in conjunction with “G.I. Jobs” magazine. In addition, KCC is one of only 14 Illinois community colleges to achieve the Military Friendly® designation for the 2022-23 academic year.

“As a veteran, and KCC graduate, I can attest to the difference it makes that the college is welcoming to veterans,” said Jason Rodriguez, advisor to the KCC chapter of the Student Veterans of America. In the photo, Rodriquez (center) is with Quante Grant (left) and Steven Regas (right) at the 2022 Student Veterans of America conference.

Typically, KCC has about 60 veterans who enroll each year, according to the college’s Office of Financial Aid. Among veterans, there are 39 KCC student veterans currently utilizing VA Education benefits.

“KCC is very proud to be designated as a Top 10 Military Friendly® School,” said Kendra Souligne, director of Financial Aid & Veteran Services. “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”

According to Victory Media, which publishes “GI Jobs,” schools were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from its own survey. Ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

The 2022-23 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.

“Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process,” said Kayla Lopez, national director of military partnerships, Military Friendly®. “Our standards provide a benchmark that promotes positive outcomes and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the Military Community. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to evolve and invest in their programs consistently. Schools who achieve awards designation show true commitment in their efforts, going over and above that standard.”

More information about educational benefits for military veterans, spouses and dependents, is at www.kcc.edu/veterans. Community members and prospective students can request information at veterans.kcc.edu, by emailing finaid@kcc.edu, or phoning 815-802-8550.

Student Veterans of America conference

In January, three KCC representatives attended the 2022 Student Veterans of America conference—the largest gathering of student veterans in the country.

“As a chapter of the SVA, Kankakee Community College sends its chapter leaders to this enriching event to promote service, opportunity, unity, and leadership through personal and professional development,” said Kendra Souligne.

The event focuses on the journey from “boots to books,” and offers connections with other student veterans from around the country, military-friendly employers, and inspiring leaders in the veteran community.

Those who attended from KCC were Quante Grant, KCC’s Student Veterans of America president; Jason Rodriguez, the chapter’s advisor; and Steven Regas, former chapter treasurer. Grant also works in the college’s Veteran’s Center.

“We learned networking skills, such the art of building and maintaining connections, fundraising tactics, decision-making, goal setting, and establishing both internal and external partnerships,” said Rodriguez. “We also were able to focus on breaking down barriers and bridging divides through diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.”

“We were especially inspired by the psychological phenomenon referred to as the ‘Imposter Phenomenon,’” Grant said. “It is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skill, talents, and accomplishments. They feel as though they will be exposed as a fraud. This is a common feeling experience by many student veterans.”

Regas said they realize this psychological hurdle may hold back their fellow veterans from achieving their goals.

“We are ready to provide support for other veterans who feel this way,” Rodriguez added.

Military-friendly attributes of KCC

  • 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: Veteran Stole Ceremony for graduating service members and a Veteran Recognition Ceremony.
  • Disability Services
  • Tutoring Services