December 15, 2017 4:54 pm

The Military Times recently named Pierce College to its annual list of Best: Colleges 2018. Now in its eighth year, the rankings factor in the results of the annual survey which is the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement.

This editorially independent news project evaluates many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, veterans and their families. More than 600 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey.

Pierce College was ranked the No. 1 four-year college in Washington, and No. 55 in the nation. Because the college offers three Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in dental hygiene, teaching and homeland security emergency management, it now competes in the four-year college category.

“Pierce College continues to invest in and offer the programs and services that help our military-affiliated students be successful, delivering them both at our local campuses and on Joint Base Lewis-McChord,” said Pierce College at JBLM Executive Director Mark Haskins. “Having served this population for 50 years, we are keenly attuned to their unique needs and have designed our pathways to meet them, from online and hybrid classes, to our complete university transfer degree that uses only open educational resources (OER) in place of traditional textbooks. Since launching our OER degree in Fall 2015, we have saved students more than $1 million in textbook costs.”

The Military Times survey asks colleges and universities to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties, and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on campus. The Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments as well as three Education Department resources.