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North Lake Certified as Military Friendl
By Marielle Perrault
IRVING, Texas- Approximately 22,000 troops are scheduled to return home from Afghanistan by fall 2012. Making their welcome home a smooth one, North Lake College (NLC) offers a strong sense of family and community for student veterans --a community which G.I. Jobs has now officially certified as “Military Friendly.”
Applying with over 10,000 colleges nationwide, NLC earned their new status from G.I. after being classified in the top 15 percent. The “Military Friendly” application examines a college’s veteran services, as well as the flexibility of their class offerings and social media. North Lake scores equally high in all three categories. From the Facebook groups solely devoted to the student veterans, to flexible terms and distance-learning opportunities, NLC’s veteran services are diverse. In fact, North Lake is one of the few colleges to recently combine veterans affairs, counseling and disability services.
So what exactly is “Military Friendly?” wonders NLC student veteran Corinthia Montoya. “I could sit here and be as friendly as possible, but not do anything to help you,” notes Montoya. “I mean, how do you define ‘friendly?”
Loosely defined by G.I. Jobs, North Lake offers their own definition. “For us it’s being able to provide a full spectrum of services that meet the individual veteran’s educational needs,” explains Veterans Affairs Specialist Amy Zorka. For Zorka, a full spectrum of educational services includes acting as a referral source for additional veteran services. “Many student veterans are unaware of the many offerings available to them,” says Zorka, listing benefits such as five years of health care services and specialized “Vet Reps” at Texas Workforce Commission.
North Lake College hopes their new military friendly certification will continue the recent increase they’ve seen in veteran applicants. Montoya, who is thankful for NLC’s veteran offerings, believes it will. “Student veterans frequent the G.I. Jobs website,” says Montoya. “It’s where they go to get their eligibility letters.”
To join the NLC Veterans Affairs group, visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/nlcva.
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