August 24, 2009 — Vol. 25 No. 25
Idaho State University is listed as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs, which this week released its list for 2010.
The list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students. 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.
“We’re pleased to have made this list,” said Casey Santee, recruiter/coordinator for the new Idaho State University Veterans Sanctuary Program that is being implemented this fall. “We were put on it even before we started our new program, which we believe puts us to the forefront for serving veterans in the state of Idaho.”
Colleges have long coveted veterans in the classroom. Dorothy Bassett, dean of Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement, a Military Friendly School, points out some of those reasons: “Military students bring a high degree of maturity, life experiences, diversity, leadership and worldliness to the classroom. 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 recent passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, has intensified an already strong desire by colleges to court veterans into their classrooms.
“This list is especially important now because the recently enacted 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.”
Higher education’s accelerated efforts to cater to student veterans are interestingly illustrated by San Diego State University’s recent conversion of a fraternity house into one exclusively for veterans.
“We wanted to provide an opportunity for veterans to integrate more into campus life,” said James Kitchen, San Diego State’s vice president for student affairs. “This veteran house is a unique opportunity for student veterans and the other students living on campus to get to know each other on a level that isn’t afforded in the normal academic environment.”
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 May 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 Committee (AAC) consisting of educators and administrators from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Toledo, Duquesne University, Coastline Community College and Lincoln Technical Institute.
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 September.
A new Web site, found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, will launch in September with interactive tools and search functionality to assist military veterans in choosing schools that best meet their educational needs. 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.