The College of Lake County has been named a Military Friendly® Gold School Award recipient for 2018. Victory Media, a Pittsburgh-based publisher of "G.I. Jobs" magazine and originator of the designation, listed CLC in the large community college category.
Although CLC's Military Friendly® School designation is its ninth consecutive, the Gold award is its first, according to Joe Bochantin, the college's veteran student services coordinator. Schools in the Gold category have attained a total score that is within 20 percent of those attained by the Top Ten schools.
Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation are evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a survey completed by the school. Final ratings are determined by combining the institution's survey scores with the assessment of the school's ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement and loan repayment. Other criteria include persistence toward degree advancement or transfer as well as loan default rates for all students, including veterans.
To see a complete list of this year's award winners, or to learn more about the ratings, visit militaryfriendly.com.
Besides the Military Friendly® designation, CLC has in the last two years added five part-time interns to its two-member Veterans Student Services staff to reduce wait times, Bochantin said. Other enhancements include: peer mentoring, a relaunched Student Veterans Club, an annual creative arts festival, annual movie night and greater collaboration with local veterans agencies and organizations. There were 693 military veterans attending CLC in Fall Semester 2017.
Jessica Lopez, president of CLC's Student Veterans Club and a Marine Corps sergeant majoring in social work, said she and her colleagues were "happy" to hear that CLC has received the Gold award. "Veterans tend to be a little older than traditional students coming right out of high school," she said. "It's nice to see the college recognized for valuing our input and doing things like expanding the veterans' services staff and programming."
For more information on services for military and veteran students at CLC, visit www.clcillinois.edu/gateway/military.