WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson Community College is designated as a “Best for Vets” college by Military Times for the fourth year in a row.
Jonathan Brown served 7 years in the U.S. Army and was stationed for a few years at Fort Drum. Before he transitioned out, he knew he wanted to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. He chose Jefferson Community College.
"JCC has a good teaching program through Potsdam and that was one of the things I had a couple of friends go through and they spoke very highly of it and I know that Potsdam is a very good school for teaching so I figure it would work out very well for me," he said.
Brown's not alone. Seven percent of students at Jefferson Community College are veterans.
When you add active duty military and family members, that number jumps to 39 percent.
"Spouses and children of active duty and veterans end up coming here and taking classes. We offer a lot of online offerings too which is great for military as they move around they can continue to take their classes here," said James Ambrose, dean of enrollment. "It adds a culture to our campus that a lot of colleges don't have. So I think it's a win-win for everybody."
Ambrose says a big reason for the large military population is, of course, the college's proximity to Fort Drum, but he also says it's because of the services the college provides.
Leah Flint oversees the Veteran Services Office, which helps veterans get their benefits, and runs tutoring services, a private lounge for veterans and their family members and a veteran's club.
"You're still transitioning from that military culture to that college and civilian college. Having all these services that help you along the way and having the partnerships makes that transition smoother," she said.
It's something Brown can attest to.
"When I was first coming here, they were able to help me and point me in the right direction in how to use my G.I. Bill benefits that are available to me. How to get it set up. They talked to me a little bit about my transferring credits from the military and how that process worked," he said.
College officials believe those services are one of the reasons that JCC has once again been named a top ten “Best for Vets” two year school by Military Times.