Lake Erie College is one of only 625 colleges and universities to be designated a Military Friendly School for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Military Friendly Designation is awarded by Military Friendly® to schools who are committed to being better for veterans. Along with this recognition, LEC has also received the Gold Award for their ranking in the private, no doctorate category. Gold Award winners have programs that scored within 20 percent of the 10th-ranked institution within a given category. This is the second year in a row LEC has had this recognition.
The Lake Erie College Veteran Education and Transition Support (V.E.T.S.) Program has been instrumental in creating a campus atmosphere worthy of these awards. The mission of the Lake Erie College V.E.T.S. Program is to facilitate the successful enrollment, registration, advising, retention, and graduation of military student veterans by assisting them in transitioning from the military to the college and civilian world successfully. The V.E.T.S. Program provides academic support, benefit and education counseling, program information, and referrals to appropriate resources through a personalized approach that emphasizes individual attention and care.
Lake Erie College’s faculty and staff work hard to ensure veterans on campus get the best education possible and to make sure resources are available to support their college career. Key to the program’s success is dedicated personnel and highly personalized support for our veterans. Coupled with a dedicated suite of spaces, including the “bunker” that serves as a meeting and gathering area for student veterans, the Veteran’s Program director, Dr. Margie Payerle collaborates with the campus community to ensure veterans and their dependents have the support needed to ensure academic success.
“One of the most amazing aspects of working with the Lake Erie College faculty and staff is how open and receptive they are to help and work with current veterans,” says Dr. Payerle. “They are all welcoming and open to make it work”
LEC’s educators promote the overall culture of commitment to the individual student to help him or her succeed. Whether civilian or retired veteran, LEC’s community of professors are people of good will that are dedicated to the individual’s education and making everything work at a student’s own pace.
“Having Dr. Payerle there to assist, not only with any problematic issues, but also as a guide in regards to navigating the various administrative processes regarding higher education, was pivotal to the successful completion of my studies,” says LEC alumnus and veteran Joshua Miller ‘18. “Also, having access to an area where I could interact with other veterans was very nice. There are simply some aspects of service and the experiences that we've had that only other veterans can understand, and to have a place where we could go to be amongst our own was quite nice. The way things are done in the civilian world, in particular the academic environment, will often vary greatly from that of the military. Adaptability to this different environment is key to success.”
The Military Friendly Gold status is a demonstration of Lake Erie College’s commitment toward honoring and supporting the many veterans who have served their country and are embarking on an educational journey.