Rappahannock Community College announced today that it has earned the 2018-19 Military Friendly School Bronze designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey.
For the first time, student survey data was taken into consideration for the designation. More than 1,400 schools participated in the 2018-2019 survey with 941 earning the designation.
“The Military Friendly bronze designation recognizes our institutional commitment to serve veterans and their families at the College,” says David Keel, RCC’s Dean of Student Development.
“Specifically, bronze award winners have programs that scored within 40 percent of the 10th-ranked institution within a given category.”
Keel said that receiving the Military Friendly designation helps RCC let veterans and their families know that the College values having them as part of the college community. The annual application process also allows the staff to evaluate strengths in serving military families, and areas where RCC can improve services.
“Because of our small size, our Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs Coordinator, our counselors, and all our staff can personalize services to students,” says Keel. “They can assist military students and their dependents step-by-step from applying to the college, selecting an academic plan of study, choosing classes each semester, and advising them through graduation.
“We have also started an annual tradition of holding a lunch each year to celebrate the veterans and blue star families who are part of our campus community.”
RCC student Gerald Smith and Northumberland County native agrees with the designation that the College earned. As a member of the National Guard stationed in Pennsylvania and Army veteran of Afghanistan, Smith traveled all over the world in service to his country. When he returned, he decided to begin his college career with RCC and has been very happy with the results.
“The people from the Veteran’s Administration worked with me, and so did the folks from RCC,” says Smith. “They got me ready to do everything I needed to do and made sure everything was in place. It was a very smooth transition.”
Smith is currently studying Criminal Justice and plans to transfer to a four-year school in Richmond or Norfolk upon graduation. He’d like to work as a state trooper, in the FBI or another, related, law enforcement field.
The same is true for Brad Hornsby. The West Point native returned from the Army and wanted to try something new. He looked to RCC for this new beginning and is happy he did.
“RCC has been very friendly to me, and very open,” says Hornsby. “Especially the Student Support Services — they are quite awesome. And really, everybody here has been very nice.”
Hornsby is currently working on a Health Science transfer degree and hopes to work in the field of forensics and ballistics after completing his college career.
Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final 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.
About Military Friendly Schools
The Military Friendly Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for 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 post-secondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.