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Veteran and Military Affiliated Services

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Veteran & Military Resource Center

Welcome military and veteran affiliated students to Ocean County College!

The transition from military to civilian life can be one of the most difficult challenges Veterans face. OCC is committed to helping you succeed with our Veteran and Military Resource Center (V.M.R.C.). The V.M.R.C. provides social, educational, recreational, mentoring, advocacy, leadership, and academic support services designed to ensure your well-being, success, retention, and graduation.

The V.M.R.C. offers a dedicated office and staff to work exclusively with military and veteran affiliated students to achieve that goal. Additionally, many of OCC’s faculty and staff are veterans themselves, so you can be confident that we know what it takes to help you succeed.

Learn more about OCC’s V.M.R.C. in the Summer/Fall 2020 Ocean Views (PDF) magazine.

For information concerning OCC’s tuition and fees for Veteran and Military Affiliated Students, please review updated policy #5335.

Meet the Coordinator

Veterans Services Coordinator, Ryan LuurtsemaAs the Coordinator of Military and Veteran Services, I am your point-of-contact here at the center. A fellow U.S. Army veteran, I experienced firsthand the challenges of obtaining a college degree. My undergraduate program was interrupted several times for personal and professional obligations that service members face on a daily basis. I understand the unique needs of veteran and military students and am here to help you succeed, at OCC and beyond.

You have served your country; now it’s our chance to serve you.

Ryan Luurtsema
Coordinator of Military and Veteran Services

  • Advocacy for veteran and military resources on and off campus
  • Mentoring
  • Referral to on and off campus resources
  • Peer-to-peer coaching and socializing
  • Veteran Affairs Transition Care Management availability
  • Distinct educational, recreational, and social events and opportunities catered for the Veteran and Military Services community
  • Military and Veteran transition resumes, Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Translation Resumes, Military Resume and Cover Letter Workshops

Students can utilize OCC’s Academic Advising & Transfer Services office for assistance with class schedules, registration, graduation, and transfer.

  • Laptops
  • Fully functional  ‘go-snack’ pantry for all students including:
    • Water
    • Powerade
    • Coffee and tea
  • Off-campus resource pamphlets for rehabilitation centers
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • Clubs and organizational partners such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars ( VFW)

Tutoring is available to all students in the Tutoring Center, in the 2nd Floor of the Instructional Building. Students can stop by or make an appointment.

Students are also encouraged to visit OCC’s Career Services office for further assistance with resumes, cover letters, interview preparations, and internship/employment opportunities!

NJ Deployment and Mobilization Policy Information – Ocean County Community College is committed to supporting our students who are called to active duty service.  If you are activated, please e-mail your orders to the School Certifying Official, Veteran Coordinator, and Veteran Advisor to assist in your transition from OCC to active duty.

If you require additional assistance, the Veteran and Military Resource Center is available and can be reached via email at veterans@ocean.edu.

  1. a. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:62-4.2, a student at OCC who is unable to complete a course because the student is called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be entitled to the options set forth in this policy with respect to the student’s grade for the course and the availability of refunds.
    b. A student who has completed at least eight weeks of attendance in a course may choose to:
    1. Receive a letter grade; or
    2. Receive a grade of pass or fail; or
    3. Receive a grade of incomplete; or
    4. Withdraw from the course.

c.  A student who has completed less than eight weeks of attendance in a course may choose to:

    1. Receive a grade of incomplete; or
    2. Withdraw from the course.

d. A letter grade or a grade of pass shall only be awarded if, in the opinion of the faculty member teaching the course, the student has completed sufficient work, and there is sufficient evidence of progress toward meeting the requirements of the course, to justify the grade.

e. A grade of incomplete shall remain valid for a period of one year after the student returns to OCC.

f. A student who chooses to accept a grade of pass or fail may, within one year after returning to OCC, receive a letter grade for the course by completing the work required for the course, in which case the letter grade shall replace the pass or fail grade as the student’s grade for the course.

g. A student who chooses to withdraw from a course shall receive a full refund of tuition and fees attributable to that course.

h. Any refund payable to a student who is a financial aid recipient shall be subject to the applicable State and federal regulations regarding refunds.[AT1]

Additional Information regarding OCC’s Veteran and Military Affiliated Students Tuition and Fees, can be reviewed under Policy #5335.


 [AT1]Requirements per NJ State Law

Any enrollment changes must be approved by the Veterans Certifying Official or the student risks losing their benefits.

G.I. Bill Comparison Tool — This tool lets you learn about education benefits and compare schools. Search “Ocean County College” to discover benefits available to you.

Educational Benefits

Check mark Call, 732-255-0400 ext. 2371, email or stop by the V.M.R.C in the Larson Student Center (2nd floor) Bldg. #8

Check mark Complete an OCC application for Admission

Check markApply for Veterans benefits

Check mark Order your official military and college transcripts to be sent to OCC’s Registration and Records Office or email to: registrar@ocean.edu

Check mark Apply for Financial Aid using Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Check mark Submit standardized test scores or take the College Placement Test

    • If you have an SAT score in Reading & Writing of 450+ or Math 500+, you will be exempt from that portion of
      the College Placement Test. Bring the scores to the Registration & Records office to be entered.
    • If you do not have qualifying SAT and/or PSAT scores (English > 29 Math > 27.5), arrange to take the College
      Placement Test.
    • If you completed college-level Math and/or English at another college, you must submit an official transcript.

Check mark Call or stop by the Advising & Transfer Services Office

Check mark Follow up with the V.M.R.C.

Benefits & Eligibility Criteria:

The Montgomery GI Bill ®  Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) (Chapter 1606), is available to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the National Guard.

To be eligible for the MGIB-SR you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve or Guard signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation
  • Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT)
  • Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT
  • Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve or Guard

Procedure:

  • Step 1: Complete the Application for Education Benefits on the VA’s GOV website.
  • Step 2: Within four to eight weeks you should receive a declaration of eligibility (COE) and a letter explaining your VA GI Bill benefits. Send a copy of the COE to the Office of Financial Aid by email at financialaid@ocean.edu, fax at 732.864.0310 or in person.

**Remember that the funds are paid directly to the student, not the school.

Additional Information:

For more information, visit GI Bill ® benefits.

Benefits & Eligibility Criteria:

The Post-9/11 GI Bill ® (Chapter 33) is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001 or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.

Veterans may also transfer their benefits under Post-9/11 (Chapter 33 Transfer of Benefits (TOB)) to their spouse or dependent.

This program will pay eligible individuals:

  • Tuition & fees directly to the school
  • A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school, and annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment
  • A one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals payable only for training at an Institution of Higher Learning (IHL). If you are in the military, you will not receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend
  • This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits
  • If your last discharge or release from active duty is on or after January 1, 2013, there is no time limitation to use your benefits. If your last discharge or release from active duty is before January 1, 2013, you have 15 years to use your benefits

Procedure:

  • Step 2: Send a copy of the COE (Certificate of Eligibility) to the Office of Financial Aid by email at financialaid@ocean.edu, fax at 732.864.0310 or in person.

Additional Information:

  • Determine your Post 9/11-GI Bill ® entitlement percentage – This is based on the number of months you have served on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Determine the maximum amount the VA will pay based on the in-state tuition rate for your school’s state.
  • Ask your school about their per credit hour tuition and per term fees:

Multiply the maximum in-state tuition & fees by your Post-9/11 entitlement percentage and compare this to your school’s tuition and fees. If your entitlement is equal to or more than the schools tuition and fees then you are covered. There is no refund of the difference.

Benefits & Eligibility Criteria:

Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) (Chapter 35) is available to the child or spouse of a veteran:

  • Who died or is permanently disabled as the result of a service-connected disability
  • Who is missing in action or captured by hostile forces
  • Who is forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power

Procedure: 

  • Step 2: Send a copy of the COE (Certificate of Eligibility) to the Office of Financial Aid by email at financialaid@ocean.edu, fax at 732.864.0310 or in person.

The COE must include the service member’s file number (this means providing the SSN of the service member from whom you derived the right to this benefit).

**Remember that the funds are paid directly to the student, not the school. Therefore, you will be responsible for your bill by the due date established by the Bursar’s office.

Typically, you would not receive your benefits until after classes have begun, which is after the bill is due. We encourage you to file a FAFSA to help meet the financial obligation until you receive and apply your benefits.

Benefits & Eligibility Criteria:

Veteran Readiness and Employment (Chapter 31) is available if you served in the Armed Forces during WWII or thereafter and:

  • Suffered a service-connected disability in active service which entitles you to compensation which you have declined in lieu of retirement pay
  • Were discharged or released under dishonorable conditions
  • The VA determines a need for vocational rehabilitation

Procedure: 

  • Step 2: Schedule a meeting with your assigned VA vocational rehabilitation counselor to determine benefit eligibility: O.C.C. Chp 31 Counselor assigned;

Wandy J. España, MS; Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment; Email: Wandy.Espana@va.gov

C/o Ocean County Veterans Bureau -1027 Hooper Avenue – 1st Floor – Bldg 2

PO Box 2191Toms River, NJ 08754

Tel#: 732-349-6106 

Fax#: 732-506-5181

  • If you are approved for benefits, your counselor will send notification to the school of your eligibility. After the school completes your certification, you will be able to purchase your books in the book store through the voc rehab program. You can also apply to your counselor for a computer, printer, etc.

**Remember that the funds are paid directly to the school, not the student.

two women sitting in the veterans resource lounge

Upcoming Events

Veterans’ Voices (coming soon)

person meditating on the beach at sunrise

Ocean County College is creating a platform for local, and community organizations that provide advocacy for New Jersey Veterans. OCC continues to develop as a pillar of Veteran resources for Ocean County, and New Jersey collectively. This program will showcase organizations, programs, and advocates that support combat, Veteran isolation, mental health resources, and benefits literacy not only on and off campus, but also regionally. For more information, contact the OCC Veteran and Military Coordinator, Ryan Luurtsema at rluurtsema@ocean.edu

Awards & Distinctions

Military Friendly 2019-2020 School logo
The Military Friendly® School designation recognizes a college’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community.

Best for Vets Colleges 2020 Military Times
The Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2020 designation is based on policies related to military and veteran students, academic outcomes, military-supportive cultures, costs and financial aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guaranteed one-on-one advisement while attending and after graduating from OCC as a Veteran and Military Service Member.

No GPA requirement (certain programs have specific academic requirements).

Yes, the Military and Veterans Lounge gives you full access to a studying area and breakout room.

All military and veteran affiliated students are welcome to use the services and resources at the center, including spouses and dependents.

The V.M.R.C  can refer you to a dedicated financial aid officer in the Administration Building.

Yes, you can join the Student Veterans Organization and our chapter of the Student Veterans of America Foundation.

OCC also offers a variety of other clubs and organizations you may want to join. Visit the Student Life page to learn more!

Yes, we offer a chapter of  the S.A.L.U.T.E. Honor Society for Military and Veteran students.

Contact Us

Telephone: 732.255.0400, Ext. 2080
Email: veterans@ocean.edu
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Student Center (Bldg 8) Room 221

Military Affiliated Support Team

Ryan Luurtsema
Coordinator of Veteran & Military Services
rluurtsema@ocean.edu 

Deeanne Gatta-Salter
Academic Advisor
dgattasalter@ocean.edu
Book an appointment.

Karen Wilson-Wylie
Sr. Financial Aid Advisor
Military and Veteran Certifying Official
 Kwilson-wylie@ocean.edu
732.255.0400 Ext: 2330
Book an appointment.
Cost to Attend OCC

Students can estimate their individual cost of attending OCC using our Net Price Calculator tool.

Answer a few simple questions and receive an estimate instantly!

Meet Frank Suter Jr!
Frank Suter Jr.

Frank is Veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in the Navy from 1969 to 1973.

Pursuing an A/S in Computer Science, Frank chose OCC because “OCC is a veteran oriented school that provides many opportunities to its students.”

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