OCC Earns Gold Status as a Military Friendly® School 


Staff Report

Ocean County College announced that it has earned the 2022-2023 Military Friendly® School designation with Gold Award status, a recognition of the College’s commitment, effort and success in supporting student veterans.

The annual Military Friendly® School list identifies institutions that are setting the standard for military and veteran programs and initiatives. A Gold-level ranking is awarded to schools scoring within 10% of the 10th-ranking institution.

OCC’s distinction as a Gold-level institution is a direct result of the rigorous efforts of the College’s Veteran and Military Resource Center, which has also been designated as a Center of Excellence for Student Veteran Success. The VMRC is led by Assistant Director Ryan Luurtsema, a 2021 Veteran Champion of the Year in Higher Education, who served eight years in the U.S. Army and has been a part of the OCC community since 2019.

“Our goal at OCC is to provide the utmost support to all military- and veteran-affiliated students, whether they identify as active duty personnel or spouses and dependents – new, returning, current, or alumni, in any and all capacities,” Luurtsema said. “Transitioning out of service is a life experience, not a temporary reflection. If you have served in or out of uniform, we want to serve you throughout your journey.”

The Military Friendly® designation is based on extensive research using public data sources from more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. Criteria for selection include student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

“Our standards provide a benchmark that promotes positive outcomes and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the Military Community,” Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly® said. “Schools who achieve awards designation show true commitment in their efforts, going over and above that standard.”

The 2022-2023 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.

For more information about Ocean County College’s veteran programs, visit ocean.edu/veterans-services.