DCTC Ranked #4 in Nation: Best for Vets

Colleges 2020 • Career and Technical Colleges • #1 in Minnesota

Military Times has ranked Dakota County Technical College #4 in the nation and #1 in Minnesota on Best for Vets: Colleges 2020: Career and Technical Colleges. DCTC has been ranked nationally by Best for Vets four years in a row: #4 in 2020, #6 in 2019, #7 in 2018 and #12 in 2017.

Sightline, the publisher of Military Times, reported: “For 10 years, Military Times has conducted an extensive, editorially independent, objective study evaluating the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families.”

Methodology: Best for Vets Colleges 2020

By: George Altman • Published: October 28, 2019 • Military Times: Education and Transition

We invited institutions of higher education across the U.S. to fill out a detailed survey, numbering around 150 questions, about their operations involving current and former service members and their families.

To create the rankings, we evaluated colleges’ survey responses based on what veterans have told us is important to them, as well as on our own editorial judgment. Broadly speaking, institutions were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic outcomes/quality, and cost and financial aid.

While the value of each section was comparable, university culture and student support carried the greatest weight in our evaluation, while academic outcomes/quality, and cost and financial aid carried the least weight. Many factors other than those listed in the chart were considered when developing the rankings.


Below are highlights from the Military Times 2020 findings:

  • This year’s Best for Vets schools have developed new and innovative approaches to supporting student veterans.
  • Nearly 60 percent of schools responding to our Best for Vets survey have set up automated alert systems to let faculty and staff know when student veterans are struggling in class.
    • When they get the alert, schools jump into action with tutoring, mentorship and other help.
  • About 1 in 5 schools have created special degree programs for service members or veterans.
    • These programs help vets earn degrees more quickly, by giving them credit for their military training and then picking up academically where the training left off.
  • Nearly every school included in the Best for Vets: Colleges 2020 rankings is regionally accredited, which is generally the most respected type of accreditation in the academic community and usually makes it easier to transfer academic credit.

Graduate perspective…

Brandon Brentlinger, a DCTC alumnus and general maintenance worker at the college, served in the U.S. Marine Corps for nearly 10 years. Brandon earned an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Individualized Studies from DCTC, graduating in May 2019. He also serves on the college’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee.

“My experience as a veteran and student at DCTC was great,” Brandon said. “I was new to how post-secondary education worked and had no clue how to even get started. The faculty and advisors literally hand-walked me through the process and got me going in the right direction. Our Military and Veterans Service Center on campus helped to bridge the gap in order for me to succeed here at DCTC and make it possible for me to venture on my own to a four-year university.”

“I was very happy to learn that DCTC is ranked #4 in the nation and #1 in Minnesota by Best for Vets! I am so proud to serve on the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee, which is the catalyst for DCTC’s commitment to serve our veterans.
“The committee is made up of faculty, admissions staff, student services, veterans advisors, and most importantly, our student veterans.  Working with this professional, mission-focused team is quite an honor.”
Scott R. Gunderson, MPNA, CM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Senior Faculty and Advisor
Business & Management Department
Credit for Prior Learning Master Assessor
Dakota County Technical College

More about Military & Veteran Services at DCTC…

Dakota County Technical College is committed to being a veteran-friendly campus. The college was proclaimed a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Company in 2010. In 2016, DCTC opened a newly remodeled Military and Veterans Service Center. The college has been ranked nationally by Best for Vets fours year in a row: #4 in 2020, #6 in 2019, #7 in 2018 and #12 in 2017.

DCTC is dedicated to meeting the needs of student-veterans and active-duty service members. Some veterans face personal, relationship, education and employment challenges. Veteran’s families also may need support while their loved ones serve overseas and when they return home. DCTC, working with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, provides additional training on supporting veterans to counselors, student affairs staff, faculty, and administrators.


Learn more about Veterans Services and the BTYR Committee at DCTC by contacting:

Kathy Bachman
MDVA Higher Education Regional Coordinator
Military and Veterans Service Center: Room 2-303

Anna Voight
Associate Director of Student Life
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee Chair