By demonstrating an institution-wide commitment to facilitating the transition of military veterans to academic life, Northeastern State University is included in a list of military friendly education institutions compiled by G.I. Jobs for the 2010-11 academic year.
G.I. Jobs' 2011 list of Military Friendly Schools can be seen at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com/2011list. The roll honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools which are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students.
NSU has seen a spike in the number of veterans enrolled in recent years—a welcomed challenge shared by other colleges and universities as an estimated 425,000 veterans are now enrolled in higher education institutions nationwide.
An ancillary goal of NSU and all colleges that recruit veterans is to attract talent.
"By bringing these individuals to Northeastern, we're always hopeful that they will enjoy their experience here so much that they will choose to permanently relocate to Oklahoma and add their professional talents to our work force and their leadership skills to our communities," said Mark Kinders, vice president for university relations.
Kinders, himself a veteran, consistently has voiced his concern for veterans' matters, particularly issues faced by those returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters.
In the two years since Kinders' arrival, NSU has reviewed its policies in preparation for increased veteran enrollment, won acceptance into the Yellow Ribbon program of the Veterans Administration and conducted Webinars with specialists to help faculty and staff facilitate veterans' entry and success in university life.
On August 12, a reception was held to let veterans meet those involved in NSU's Veterans Mentoring Program, which has faculty and staff who have served in the military act as mentors.
"It was a chance to get them connected, develop their networks and gain exposure to some of the resources we have available on campus," said Kinders.
Schools on the list range from state universities and private colleges to community colleges and trade schools. The common bond is their shared priority of recruiting students with military experience.
Colleges have long coveted veterans in the classroom. Dr. Dorothy Bassett, dean of Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement, a Military Friendly School, pointed out some of those reasons.
“Military students bring a high degree of maturity, life experiences, diversity, leadership and worldliness to the classroom," she said. "Other students and faculty benefit from the different perspectives that service members and veterans bring.”
The tens of billions of dollars in tuition money now available with the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill last year has intensified an already strong desire by colleges to court veterans into their classrooms.
“This list is especially important now because the Post-9/11 GI Bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school,” said Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher. “Veterans can now enroll in any school, provided they’re academically qualified. Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated, and the Military Friendly Schools list is that trusted friend.”
Derek Blumke, president of Student Veterans of America and a member of the list’s Academic Advisory Board, agreed, saying, “The Military Friendly Schools list is the gold standard in letting veterans know which schools will offer them the greatest opportunity, flexibility and overall experience. It’s especially important now with so many schools competing for military students.”
Schools on the Military Friendly Schools list also offer additional benefits to student veterans such as on-campus veterans programs, credit for service, military spouse programs and more.
The list was compiled through exhaustive research starting last April during which G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide. Methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators from Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne, Colorado State, Dallas County Community College, Old Dominion, Cleveland State, Lincoln Technical Institute and Embry Riddle; as well as Keith Wilson, VA’s director of education services; Michele Spires, American Council on Education’s assistant director of military programs; Janet Swandol, associate director for CLEP and Derek Blumke, president of Student Veterans of America. A full list of board members can be found at http://militaryfriendlyschools.com/Article/advisory-board/
A story and detailed list of Military Friendly Schools will be highlighted in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools and on a poster, both of which will be distributed to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in late September. The newly redesigned Web site, found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, features interactive tools and search functionality to assist military veterans in choosing schools that best meet their personal educational needs. The site currently shows 2010 Military Friendly Schools but will switch to the 2011 list in late September.
Criteria for making the Military Friendly Schools list included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students and academic accreditation.
About G.I. Jobs
G.I. Jobs (www.gijobs.com) is published by Victory Media, a veteran-owned business which also publishes The Guide to Military Friendly Schools, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur magazines and annually rates the nation’s “Military Friendly Employers,” “Military Spouse Friendly Employers” and “Best Corporations for Veteran-Owned Businesses.”
Published: 8/17/2010 9:10:25 AM