Columbus State Named to 2011 Military Friendly Schools List
G.I. Jobs magazine today announced the release of its 2011 list of Military Friendly Schools, including Columbus State University for the first time ever.
The list at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com/2011list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students.
“Columbus State University is so very proud to have received this very special designation,” said Columbus State University President Tim Mescon. “Our proximity to Fort Benning and the Maneuver Center for Excellence is most valued. We are committed
to developing and delivering academic programs that meet the needs of our men and women serving our country and their dependents in a manner that respects the academic integrity of our curriculum and addresses the special requirements of those in military service.”
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.
“Military students bring a high degree of maturity, life experiences, diversity, leadership and worldliness to the classroom,' said Dorothy Bassett, dean of Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement, a Military Friendly School. '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. So schools are clamoring for them like never before. Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. 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, agrees. “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 University, Duquesne University, Colorado State University, Dallas County Community College, Old Dominion University, Cleveland State University, 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 full 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 website, 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 accreditations.