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Clearing The Way For Military-Connected Students

Flags stand in front of the 1911 Building in the Court of North Carolina in preparation for Veterans Day. Photo by Becky Kirkland.

Military-affiliated students now have a more straightforward path to an NC State degree, thanks to expanding the Community College Collaboration (C3) Military Connect Program. The C3 program has signed Military Connect partnership agreements with Coastal Carolina Community College, Craven Community College and Fayetteville Technical Community College, giving veterans and their dependents in these areas a new resource as they seek educational opportunities. These community colleges join Wayne Community College as Military Connect partners. The expansion means that NC State’s C3 Military Connect program will serve the state’s largest base communities near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Marine Corps Air Station New River, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Fort Bragg Army Base, and Pope Army Air Field. 

With comprehensive support while enrolled at the community college, C3 helps to ensure students take the courses they need to enroll in a four-year degree program successfully. The program also provides wrap-around services during and after the transfer process, giving students the tools they need for success. C3 program administrators understand the unique challenges veterans and their families face and help students build a comprehensive support network.

Dr. Don Hunt, NC State’s Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and himself a veteran, put serving veterans and their families as a high priority for the University. “Supporting our military community is critical, as we know that our Active Duty Military and Veterans have additional challenges that they face while pursuing their educational goals,” he says. “Through great partnerships with our community college partners, we are meeting students where they are and ensuring they have the smoothest path to a baccalaureate degree.”

Military service often means frequent transitions, and service members working toward higher education while on active duty may have college work from several different schools. Likewise, their dependents may change schools often, and these transitions can make it challenging to understand educational processes. C3 provides a clear pathway for these students to navigate the complexity of the admissions process.

“Service members and their families endure many personal sacrifices in serving our country, and those sacrifices often disrupt their educational journey,” says C3 Program Director Martha Harmening. “Through C3 Military Connect, we want to give our military-connected students the support and tools to overcome those disruptions and reach their educational goals.”

 North Carolina has the 4th largest number of active-duty personnel in the country. NC State is committed to serving those with ties to our armed forces and supporting our veterans as they transition back to civilian life.

“Approximately 200,000 men and women exit our forces each year and for many of them, furthering their education is the main focus as part of their next steps,” says Daniel Hackley, Assistant Registrar for Military & Veterans Education at NC State. “Through collaboration and support from our C3 Military Connect community college partners, veterans and their families are now able to stay local, adjust to life outside the military, attend school at a much lower rate of cost, and save GI Bill Benefits, all while receiving the highest-level quality of support and resources from NC State Veterans Education and Jeffrey Wright Military and Veteran Services. In the end, we strive to ensure our military-connected students have a  seamless, transparent, and efficient transition into higher education.”