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GRCC is again declared military friendly

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By Jason Babcock

Grand Rapids Community College has just received the prestigious “Military Friendly” award for the fifth year in a row. One of the reasons the college has received this award for five years is the dedicated GRCC Veteran Success Team, which focuses on helping veteran’s figure out what benefits they can use and also helping them acclimate to campus life. There are over 300 veterans enrolled in classes at GRCC this fall. GRCC first received this award in 2009 and is listed on the “Military Friendly” school list.

Janice Holton, the Veteran’s Benefits Coordinator at GRCC, wanted current and new veteran’s enrolled this fall to know that, “GRCC is here for for them, to support them, and to do what we can for them.” GRCC has had increasing veteran enrollment since 2009. One of the veteran’s success team’s initial goals for each veteran coming to GRCC is to help them use the benefits available to them through the Veteran’s Affairs office.

The veteran’s success team has a lot of different goals that it’s trying to achieve.

“One of the first goals is to implement a special breakout session strictly for veterans,” Holton said. “After that, I can personally meet with each new veteran coming in and discuss different options available for each person. ”

David Krenz, a veteran attending GRCC, was initially interested in the college because of the police academy program.

“They helped me quite a bit, the office received a lot of praise for helping veteran’s file for benefits and any educational benefits the VA’s office offered,” he said. Krenz also said that the award itself will help pull other veteran’s to the school, mostly because the school staff is knowledgeable and can help veteran’s file for benefits. Krenz also referenced a veteran’s student support group that helps veterans acclimate to student life, along with programs offered by the VA’s office which also helps students adjust.

Veterans going to school at GRCC can also apply for work study through the VA’s office. As long as they are attending school for at least 9 credits, they can apply for veteran related work which is paid for by the VA.
Holton said she plans to continue to improve GRCC veterans programs.
“It’s kind of my bucket list,” she said.