Secretary's Column

Secretary’s December 2016 Column

New Jersey Colleges and Universities The Best for Vets

By Rochelle Hendricks
Secretary of Higher Education

Rochelle Hendricks, Secretary of Higher Education

I recently had the opportunity to meet some of the members of the armed forces who are furthering their education while serving our country.

The service members were attending the Veteran Career and Resource Event hosted by Thomas Edison State University (TESU) at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton. Attendees were connected with job opportunities, interview and resume tips as well as resources to help ease their transition to civilian life.

At the event, military members and their families gained information about how to access and make use of their Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits as they relate to housing, healthcare and mental health services. Three dozen organizations and community service groups provided information, including Comcast, NJ Transit, PSEG, NJM Insurance and UPS. Event organizers included TESU’s Craig Smith, director of Veterans Affairs, Office of Military and Veteran Education; Robin Walton, vice president for Community and Government Affairs; and Wendy Lang, director of Operation College Promise, Office of Military and Veteran Education.

Military members also learned about how using their VA benefits can help them earn a degree and prepare for a civilian career.secretaryhendricks_-withmilitaryvet_tesuevent

I commend Thomas Edison State University for hosting this extraordinary event, and I want to extend warm wishes to Mark Lauder (pictured), a U.S. Marine veteran I met who is currently a student at Mercer County Community College.

Thomas Edison is not the only university or college offering stellar services to military vets and their families. Although we don’t have the space to list every institution doing an exceptional job of serving vets, let me highlight just a few:

• Rutgers was recently ranked #2 in the country by the Military Times as being Best for Vets, based on services provided.
• Stevens Institute of Technology was recently named as a partner in the United States Marine Corps Leader Scholarship Program.
• Stockton University has also been ranked highly as one of the Best Colleges for Vets in the nation by the Military Times.

So as the end of the semester approaches, and we have an opportunity to gather with our friends and family to celebrate the holidays, let me express gratitude that the institutions of higher education in New Jersey are among the best in the nation in serving those who protect us.
May all of you enjoy the holiday season and come back refreshed and ready to begin a happy, healthy and productive New Year.

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