GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College has once again been named to the Military Friendly® Schools list by VIQTORY.
Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs®, Military Spouse and Military Friendly® brands. L&C first received this designation in 2011.
The 2019-2020 Military Friendly® Schools list honors colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and to ensure their success on campus.
Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. This year, 766 schools earned this prestigious designation.
Final ratings are 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 veteran student and spouses.
“L&C Veteran Services works closely with faculty and staff, especially the Enrollment and Financial Aid departments, to help veteran students overcome hurdles that may stand in the way of their academic success,” said Terry Lane, director of Career and Veteran Services at L&C and a U.S. Army veteran himself. “That’s just one of the reasons the college continues to hold the military friendly designation.”
L&C offers a variety of services and benefits to veterans and their families. L&C’s Veteran Services office currently serves more than 220 military and veteran students, their spouses and their dependents each academic year. They receive assistance with a variety of State of Illinois and VA education benefits as well as information on scholarships, employment, physical and mental health, campus events, community agencies offering services, etc.
The Veterans Club on campus also serves military and veteran students as well as any L&C student interested in the club and its activities. In 2018, the club donated more than $900 to 17 area entities and collected over 750 units of blood by hosting five blood drives on campus throughout the year. Two of those drives were held in partnership with KSHE-95.
The club also facilitated donations of shoes for the ShoeCrew Water Project, glasses for the Lion’s Club and toys for Toys for Tots, as well as volunteering bell-ringing hours for the Salvation Army.
A Veterans Resource Center exists on the fourth floor of Caldwell Hall on L&C’s Godfrey Campus. The center provides computers, a TV and resource materials in a relaxed atmosphere where veterans can study or talk with peers. Madison County Veterans Assistance Commission, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and VA Vet Center veteran representatives also utilize the center for meeting with students.
“We are very proud to be recognized for our commitment to helping military and veteran students achieve their education goals,” Lane said. “Their representation in the student body is significant, and we continue to explore ways to address and anticipate their needs.”
College and Foundation Board Member Dwight Werts and his wife Cheryl Werts have made significant monetary contributions to establish and maintain a Veteran Emergency Loan Fund for L&C military and veteran students. The Werts family donation to establish the fund was matched by the L&C Foundation’s President’s Circle. Their continued support over the years has allowed the fund to stay available to veterans in need.
“The Veteran Emergency Loan Fund has time and time again made a huge difference for veteran students and their families.” Lane said. “Without this fund many veterans would not be able to get their books, buy gas or food, pay rent, etc. For some veterans, the fund literally means the difference between going to school and not being able to attend.”
The Military Friendly® Schools media and website, www.militaryfriendly.com, features the list of schools, interactive tools and search functionality to help military and veteran students/spouses find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.