ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. (November 20, 2023) — Rockland Community College (RCC) is proud to announce its ranking as the #10 institution in the Northeast & Islands region in the prestigious Military Times’ 2023 Best for Vets: Colleges rankings, the largest and most comprehensive ranking of schools for military service members and veterans. The recognition reflects RCC’s commitment to providing exceptional educational opportunities and support for military-connected students.

“We are thrilled to celebrate RCC’s recognition as the #10 institution in the Northeast & Islands region for supporting our student veterans,” said Dr. Lester Rápalo, RCC President. “This achievement reflects our commitment to serving and supporting our military students, as we continue our mission to transform the lives of our community members through education.”

Each year, a survey is distributed to colleges and universities nationwide, inquiring about their programs for veterans. The survey, along with public data from the Department of Education and Department of Veterans Affairs, are analyzed to create an official ranking. Colleges and universities were asked to participate in the survey, and the Military Times data team analyzed the responses, resulting in the creation of a highly regarded and impartial annual ranking of these institutions. This year, the list includes 325 schools, marking an increase of almost 5% compared to the previous year.

Rockland Community College attained the following positions in the 2023 rankings:

  • Overall Rank: 131
  • Rank in Northeast & Islands: 10
  • Rank in At least 2 but less than 4 years: 18
  • Rank in Primarily in-person: 113
  • Rank in General Education: 124

RCC’s Veterans Affairs department provides comprehensive support services to military-affiliated students, including assistance in identifying and applying for educational benefits, academic guidance, and enrollment certification to the Veterans Administration.

“I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the transformative impact of our dedicated efforts in support of our veteran students firsthand,” said Jonathan Barnwell, the RCC Assistant Director of Judicial and Veteran Affairs. “This recognition reaffirms our progress in providing imperative support and resources to our military students.”

Jonathan Barnwell, the RCC Assistant Director of Judicial and Veteran Affairs, featured in our coverage. RCC’s Veterans Affairs department offers vital support to military-affiliated students, including assistance with educational benefits, academic guidance, and Veterans Administration enrollment.

For a decade, Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges has aided and support to the military community by delivering trusted ranking and reporting on the top schools for veterans. The rankings have become a primary resource for schools to publicize their veteran programs, aiding veterans in making important decisions about their educational planning and how to use the education benefits acquired through their military service.

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About Military Times
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About Rockland Community College
Rockland Community College (RCC), located in Suffern New York, provides purpose driven educational opportunities in a supportive, affordable, and accessible environment, empowering individuals to positively transform themselves and their communities. RCC welcomes students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Many graduates go on to top universities to further their education on their own or through RCC’s institutional collaborations. RCC fosters an environment that attracts, recruits, supports, and retains faculty, staff, and students who value diversity. The College promotes a collegial and inclusive environment by recognizing, promoting, embracing, respecting, and celebrating the expansive range and dimensions of cultures, attitudes, ideas, and viewpoints contained within our campus community.

RCC is also proud to provide career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills through a variety of programs and educational opportunities including workforce training, certifications, and micro credentials. Many of the programs are developed with employers in the community in high demand industry areas to enable graduates to move into a new career upon graduation. More information can be found at

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