More Veterans Enrolling at NECC
Northern Essex is welcoming more students who are veterans, according to a comparison of enrollments over the past five years. In the fall of 2005, 90 veterans were enrolled at the college and this past fall, there were 150, a 60 percent increase in five years.
Matt Steer, financial aid counselor and the college’s new veterans’ representative, attributes the increase to the new G.I. Bill which was passed in 2008 and extends educational eligibility for veterans and their families.
“Soldiers currently serving overseas are contacting us. They want to start school as soon as they can when they come back,” said Steer who is himself a veteran, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan while in New Hampshire Air National Guard.
Northern Essex provides a welcoming environment for veterans. It was one of 1,200 colleges and universities nationwide and just one of 21 in Massachusetts to be named a military friendly school in the fourth edition of the “GI Jobs” 2011 Military Friendly schools list.
Among other things, Northern Essex was noted for offering military scholarships, online, evening, and weekend classes, a full-time VA counselor on staff, veteran clubs and associations, and giving credit for military service and training.
“We work hard to create pathways with our local veterans’ organizations,” said Steer. “We’re in constant communication.”
While some veterans are enrolling in career focused programs such as health care and criminal justice, others are choosing transfer programs such as liberal arts and plan to continue their education after graduating from Northern Essex, according to Charles Diggs, assistant dean of enrollment.
Veterans interested in learning more about Northern Essex Community College, can contact Charles Diggs at 978 556-3608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.