Indian Hills Community College was named a "military friendly school" for the work and programs they have in place for veterans and military personnel.
The designation means Indian Hills ranks among the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the nation that do the most to embrace and help America's current service members and veterans, as well as their families.
The IHCC Veteran's Affairs Department provides a variety of services from one-on-one assistance with state and federal benefit applications and the GI Bill to academic and financial guidance. All veterans are also offered in-state tuition at Indian Hills and the college just started offering training to faculty and staff so that everyone on campus is aware of veterans' needs and issues.
"One of the most important things we also do, we just did it within the last year, was offer them an honor stole that they get at graduation to wear to acknowledge their service and their dedication to our country, as well as their achievements at IHCC," said Teresa McNitt, IHCC's Veterans Affairs Coordinator and a military veteran herself.
For many returning military personnel, readjusting to life back home is a big step, and the services offered at Indian Hills are just one benefit of attending school there.
"For me, when I returned from my first tour in Iraq, it was key to have somebody that not only understood where I was coming from, but what my goals were when coming back into the civilian world," said Brendan Stanford, Sergeant with the U.S. Army Reserve Military Police. "And to do that, there's a nice bridge that they have as having a veteran's administrator to handle bringing us in and showing us the path that goes from being in uniform to getting an education and furthering your career."
Though that transition from life in the military to life at home can be confusing and filled with paperwork, Stanford said he would encourage any personnel, whether actively serving or not, to consider receiving and education and furthering their career.
"Not only does it help your current career in the service as far as promotions and advancing yourself, but thinking on the long-term, whenever you choose to leave the service, whether it's in 20 years or at the end of your contract, to have something else that you can provide to the civilian atmosphere and the workforce is key and important," he said.
To learn more about Indian Hill's Veteran Affairs, or to contact the department, click here.