SOUTH PORTLAND — Southern Maine Community College has received the 2021-2022 Military Friendly School designation, given to institutions for their commitment and dedication to students who have served in the military.

The designation was awarded by Military Friendly, which evaluates colleges and universities using public data and responses from a proprietary survey. Institutions are measured on student retention, graduation, job placement, repayment, persistence and loan default rates for all students, with an emphasis on student veterans.

SMCC has expanded services for its veteran student population over the years with veterans-only student orientations, priority registration, a Veterans Resource Center and an official College Veterans Medallion at graduation, said Amy Lainoff, director of Veteran and Military Student Services. SMCC also holds a veterans breakfast in November and a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony each year, and was the first college in Maine to install Purple Heart parking spaces on its South Portland campus and Midcoast campus in Brunswick.

“Receiving the Military Friendly designation is a great honor for the College as well as a reminder to continue to improve our services for this population of students who sacrificed so much with their service to our country,” Lainoff said. “It is important to assist our veterans as they continue their education to reach their goals for a bright future after the military.”

Military Friendly is owned by VIQTORY, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs and Military Friendly brands.

The 2021-2022 Military Friendly Schools list, which includes 747 institutions, will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at http://www.militaryfriendly.com.

“Schools who achieve designation show true commitment and dedication in their efforts,” said Kayla Lopez, national director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly. “Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the military community.”

Southern Maine Community College is Maine’s largest and oldest community college. Founded in 1946, SMCC offers courses at its South Portland and Brunswick campuses, at community satellite locations and online. SMCC has among the lowest tuition and fees in New England and offers more than 40 degree programs.