DCTC strives to support student-veterans on campus
Dakota County Technical College conducts an annual Veteran Satisfaction Survey to learn how the college community can better support veterans on campus. Survey results from 2018 show that:
- 96 percent of respondents indicated they would recommend DCTC to friends and family
- 96 percent of respondents indicated DCTC is welcoming to military-affiliated students
- 93 percent of respondents felt like coming to DCTC was the right choice
- 89 percent of respondents indicated they have the support they need to succeed at DCTC
- 85 percent of respondents said it’s easy for students to get help using their military benefits
DCTC is dedicated to meeting the needs of student-veterans and active-duty service members as well as their families. Student-veterans face unique challenges and barriers to their success. Those challenges mean DCTC must implement methods to know how well the college is meeting the needs of this campus population. The purpose of this survey is to better understand how well DCTC is serving our student-veterans—and to learn how the college can better enhance their success.
Survey results are reviewed by the DCTC Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BTYR) Committee. Results relevant to departments not represented on the committee are provided to those department members for review. The BTYR Committee discusses and determines action items and/or future annual committee or college goals related to areas that require improvement. Goals are reviewed on an annual basis with periodic check-ins on progress throughout the year.
Joseph Mathison is a student-veteran attending DCTC. Joseph served in the 3rd Ranger Battalion in the U.S. Army from March 1995 until June 1999. He was an E5, or sergeant, and his MOS was 11b2p Parachute Infantry. His duty station was Fort Benning, Georgia.
“Veterans Services at DCTC are excellent,” said Joseph, who is earning his A.S. degree in the Construction Management program. He is on track to graduate from DCTC in fall 2020. “The help and services provided by VA representatives at DCTC is outstanding. I am an older veteran and have attended four colleges under VA benefits, and DCTC is above all the other schools in helping veterans.”
Joseph added that he feels VA reps at DCTC wish to provide him with academic guidance in any way possible; they also take care of all his VA paperwork.
“This allows me to concentrate solely on studying and schoolwork,” he said. “The reps are especially concerned about veteran issues regarding school and making sure veterans have access to all their veteran benefits. They keep you advised of upcoming events.”
Joseph reported that DCTC has a Military and Veterans Service Center on campus, where he spends much of his time studying and preparing for class. “The office creates a great atmosphere for veterans,” he said. “I would give Veterans Services at DCTC an A+, and I would highly recommend the school to a veteran who is looking for a technical college to attend.”
Anna Voight, associate director of student life and BTYR Committee chair at DCTC, reported that the Veteran Satisfaction Survey is a great tool for staff and faculty to identify areas where the college can better support student-veterans.
“Because of student feedback on this survey last year, we learned we needed to do more to promote Credit for Prior Learning options and have additional staff trained to help with veterans benefits,” Anna said. “The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee developed goals to address that feedback in collaboration with the campus departments impacted. Survey responses the following year showed significant positive changes in both of those areas, which we were very happy to see!”
Anna added that the BTYR Committee also heard from student-veterans that they would like to get acquainted with employee-veterans on campus, noting that veterans implicitly trust one another. Building trust with non-veteran employees may take more time.
“Because of this feedback, we have worked with our employee-veterans to add their contact information and pictures on our Veterans Services webpage,” Anna said, “and we are now working to add the same information by the Military and Veterans Service Center on campus.”
“I felt honored by the BTYR Challenge Coin Recognition. Also DCTC (especially Scott Gunderson) has treated me very well by giving me the opportunity to teach a number of different courses.
“Teaching has given me a lot of meaning at this point in my life. It’s great to see my students advance the potential in their professional lives by seriously applying themselves in my classes.”
Larry Nelson, Business Faculty, Vietnam War Veteran, U.S. Marines
Dakota County Technical College
Learn more about the Veteran Satisfaction Survey and Veterans Services at DCTC by contacting:
MDVA Higher Education Regional Coordinator
Military and Veterans Service Center (Room 2-303)
Associate Director of Student Life
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee Chair
Enrollment Advisor and Financial Aid Specialist
School Certifying Official
Social and Community Resources Navigator
Veterans Club Advisor