Military Times Says Northern Essex ‘Best for Vets’

Jeff Williams, director of NECC’s Veterans Services.

For the second year in a row, Northern Essex Community College has been designated as one of the “Best for Vets: Colleges 2017,” by “Military Times.”

The college ranked 17 out of hundreds of colleges and universities.

Northern Essex is just one of 25, two-year schools nationwide to receive the honor, and one of 175 colleges and universities to receive the designation overall. More than 500 colleges took part in this year’s survey. It was one of four Massachusetts community colleges to rank in the top 25.

“We limit our list to encourage competition, and we genuinely hope this helps raise the bar for veterans on campus,” said Amanda Miller, editor of “Best for Vets.” “We award the Best for Vets designation to the very best – the colleges that really are setting the example.”

Jeff Williams, director of NECC’s Veterans Services, said winning the high ranking was not an easy accomplishment. “I was nervous,” he admits. “I know how competitive it is, but once again I was pleasantly surprised.”

Williams credits NECC’s Institutional Research department with compiling mountains of measurable data required by the survey. In addition, he believes the overall “quality of life” for NECC’s military-connected students continues to expand and improve. He cited the student NECC Veterans and Service Persons Organization, the veterans writing group, the dedicated veterans services office, the creation of “green spaces” and voluntary faculty and staff training to address veteran-related issues and concerns.

“These trainings allow us to educate the college community as a whole as to the veteran student’s potential experiences but also the strengths they bring to the classroom…we like to focus on their strengths.”

Northern Essex currently has 130 military-connected students enrolled for the fall semester.