Oakton Earns 2020-21 Military Friendly School Designation
(Feb. 13, 2020) Demonstrating Oakton Community College’s dedication to those who served our country, the college has earned the 2020-2021 Military Friendly School designation for the fifth straight year. The distinction honors colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensuring their success on campus.
Oakton is committed to helping veterans obtain educational benefits through a variety of programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).
“This is extremely prestigious for Oakton to once again be recognized as a Military Friendly School,” says Brooke Roche, who serves as the veteran representative in Oakton’s Office of Advising, Transitions and Student Success. “Oakton provides specialized services to our veteran student population allowing them to experience holistic development, both academically—achieved through individual advising appointments that lead to a designated educational pathway—and socially and personally through programs and projects spearheaded by Oakton’s student Veterans Club.”
Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,000 schools participated in the 2020-2021 survey with 695 earning the designation.
Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by VIQTORY, a veteran military marketing firm, 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, specifically student veterans.
That data reinforces what many students already know.
Erik Kell, a resident of Des Plaines who served in the Army and Navy and currently is in the Army Reserve, is studying physics at the college. After Oakton, he intends to transfer to a four-year institution to earn his bachelor’s degree.
“Oakton made it possible and affordable for me to continue my education,” Kell says. “Brooke (Roche) bends over backwards for veterans. She was very knowledgeable in helping me set up my classes. She also provided information about an emergency fund for veterans at the college that was instrumental when I needed money quickly.”