Military Times names college as vet-friendly

Michael Garvey, Co-Editor

Military Times this fall named AACC as one of the best two-year colleges for veterans for the second year in a row.

The weekly newspaper ranked AACC 23rd among 34 community colleges that made the list, down from 22nd in 2017.

Schools across the country fill out a rigorous survey, which editors use to evaluate programs and services that veterans say are important to them.

“At Anne Arundel we have probably the best support services compared to the other institutions,” said Harlan Harrell, who serves as the military/veterans student success and retention adviser.

One of the services that editors look for is a veterans’ center on campus.

“I think [AACC’s vet center] is one of the better resources I’ve seen being a veteran and in the National Guard,” said Benjamin Beares, a second-year homeland security student.

For faculty and staff, the school offers a “meet the military learner” course that focuses on the transitional challenges veterans face when they leave the armed services.

“If you roll a guy out after a four-year enlistment with two or three deployments, and then drop him back into college all on their own it’s hard for them to sit down and say, ‘OK, I have to schedule out today through the next 15 weeks,’ and make it work,” said Mike Kulikowski, a veteran and a second-year homeland security major.

Still, Beares said he would like to see more dedicated space on the campus where veterans can hang out, and receive help with their educational benefits.

“Sometimes we’ll be in here and all the seats will be packed, and stuff like that,” he said. “Sometimes I’m worried that might push people away if they feel like there’s not enough room for them, and as veterans we never want to push our friends away.”