Berkeley Today Stories
Berkeley College: Supporting Soldiers Who Become Students
Christopher James Hendricks served eight years in the U.S. Air Force as a dental technician in the United States and abroad in Japan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. As a student at Berkeley College in New York City, he is excelling in the classroom, an accomplishment he attributes to the discipline of the military and to professors who are sympathetic to the needs of the military population.
“When a faculty member understands what a veteran student has been through, then a certain level of understanding and respect forms,” said Mr. Hendrick, who is on track to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications in 2017.
Listed as a Principles of Excellence institution with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Berkeley College is committed to helping veterans like Mr. Hendrick succeed in the college environment and in their post-military careers. Through its Office of Military and Veterans Affairs (OVMA), the College offers assistance to more than 500 military students and veterans and also educates professors to meet the needs of these students.
This dedication has consistently earned Berkeley College a place among the best colleges for military and veteran students.
Berkeley College was recently named to the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2017. This is the fourth time the College has made it to this prestigious list. In addition, Military Advanced Education & Transition selected the College as a Top School in its 2017 Guide to Colleges & Universities research study. And for the third consecutive year Berkeley College was ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
“It is an honor for Berkeley College to be recognized for our commitment to veterans and military students,” said Richard E. Robitaille, Ed.D., Berkeley College Assistant Vice President, Office of Military and Veterans Affairs. “We’re proud of the fact that we have six on-site Veterans Resource Centers in New York and New Jersey. We also offer an Online Veterans Resource Center that has enabled us to reach a greater number of veteran students, including those stationed overseas.”
Berkeley’s Personal Counseling Services provided much needed support to U.S. Army veteran, Jose Pagan, upon his transition from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan to pursuing an education with Berkeley College. Following three tours overseas, homelessness, and other sets of challenges, Mr. Pagan excelled as a student, earning him a spot on the President’s List. (Watch Jose’s story here)
Whitney Rolle, a U.S. Army veteran, continued his education through Berkeley College Online® while stationed in Iraq and in Fort Campbell, KY.
“After every foot patrol, I would sit in my hooch, a small tent made with an Army poncho, and work on assignments from thousands of miles away,” said Mr. Rolle, who graduated from Berkeley College with a B.B.A. in Financial Services in 2012.
Mr. Robitaille said that in addition to offering a supportive environment, the Veterans Resource Centers offer students information about their U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits as well as information about programs pertaining to military and veteran students. Berkeley College supports the G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program, and collaborates on national ventures with the National Guard, the Army and the Air Force, the GoArmyEd distance learning program, and the Navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership.
Mr. Rolle went on to earn an M.S. in Finance at the Lubin School of Business at Pace University in 2016 and currently works as a banking consultant providing Anti-Money Laundering investigation services to banks.
Lisa Mulligan, Berkeley College Assistant Director of the OVMA, and Veterans Success Advisor, said Berkeley College staff members have been thoroughly trained in VA policy and the OVMA at Berkeley offers guidance on everything from tutoring programs to crisis centers.
“Berkeley College is more than just a Yellow Ribbon School,” Ms. Mulligan said. “We are a community of professionals driven to propel our students toward success.”