TCC named top community college for veterans
Published 10:14 pm Thursday, November 4, 2010
Transitioning from the military to book learning is no easy task, but Tidewater Community College is doing what they can to make it seamless.
The college recently was named the No. 1 community college, and 11th among the top 100 colleges and universities, for “Best Colleges for Veterans” by Military Times EDGE, a part of the Military Times newspapers. The ranking was decided by a survey conducted by the publication. No other community college is listed in the top 25.
“We have long embraced as a distinctive part of who we are and what we do through service to the military,” said Deborah DiCroce, Tidewater Community College president. “The bottom line for us is that the military is a critical component of what makes Hampton Roads float. They’re a huge part of our community, and we want to make sure we’re providing the best services to them for the work they’ve done for all of us.”
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In the 2009-10 school year, 4,257 veterans and 1,911 active-duty military members attended took courses at TCC.
The college offers services like veterans affairs offices, on-base offices, electronic forms to ease paperwork and travel, scholarships for ROTC and military dependents, in-state tuition, membership with “Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges” and deployment-friendly processes.
“At first it’s hard to slide back into civilian lingo and everything, but at every TCC campus there is a veterans affairs office,” said Rodney Ricks, who served in the U.S. Army. “When we come in, we go straight to them and they handle everything. They’re all retired military, and they understand us and help us transition back to a civilian way of schooling.”
Ricks added the school is affordable, has a good atmosphere, and staff and teachers “make you feel like you can move on from here.”
In a different survey earlier this year, Military Times EDGE ranked the college among the top 20 most popular colleges and universities where active-duty troops use tuition assistance, and G.I. Jobs magazine also recognized TCC as a “Military Friendly School.”
The college also ranked first among community colleges in the country for the number of veterans enrolled using the Post-9/11 GI Bill and in the top five among all higher education institutions, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education.