August 16, 2010

SIUC named ‘Military Friendly School for 2011’

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues to earn national recognition for its commitment to providing outstanding educational opportunities to active-duty military personnel and veterans.

G.I. Jobs magazine today (Aug. 16) named the University as a “Military Friendly School for 2011.” According to the magazine, the list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the nation. The magazine polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide; 1,220 institutions made this year’s list.

This is the second consecutive year the University is receiving the honor, one of several SIUC has earned in recent years for efforts in assisting both veterans and active-duty military personnel. SIUC also has been listed among the nation’s top military-friendly colleges and universities by Military Advanced Education magazine for three consecutive years.

“The national and statewide recognition our University continues to receive reflects a longstanding commitment of our faculty and staff to servicemen and women,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “Our military personnel make tremendous sacrifices for all of us, and we appreciate the opportunity to meet their academic and service needs.”

Thomas H. Beebe, director of SIUC’s Office of Military Programs, said the newest recognition “continues to show that our programs are successful and our programs are what people need. The quality of our programs is high, very high, and we are well-respected as an institution in military education.”

The award shows the institution’s success in dealing with and supporting active-duty military personnel and veterans enrolled in 29 off-campus locations in the United States, Beebe said. In addition to the 1,390 active-duty and military veterans enrolled in the off-campus programs, there were 750 student veterans enrolled on the Carbondale campus this past spring.

“When they are looking for an institution to go to they can see their needs will be met, and met properly,” Beebe said.

According to the magazine, performance areas examined include a school’s non-financial efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, such as Veterans’ Administration-approval to accept the G.I. Bill, flexible learning programs, tuition benefits, overall recruitment budget allocated to recruiting military students, numbers and percentages of military and veteran students enrolled, and a school’s academic accreditations.

Beebe anticipates off-campus enrollment this fall will be stable if not increase “because our folks out there are doing a good job.”

“We are extremely proud of the people who work for us and the accomplishment in receiving the award again,” he said.

“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, in a news release announcing this year’s institutions. “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.”

Earlier this year, SIUC received the inaugural Governor’s Award for Excellence in Veterans Education, recognizing the University’s efforts to enhance the educational experiences of student military veterans. SIUC also recently was ranked 37th by active-duty service members who used tuition assistance during the 2009 fiscal year according to a report in “Military Times Edge” magazine.

Active duty military personnel and veterans will look for institutions that provide quality instruction and are recognized program leaders, Beebe said.

“Being considered ‘military friendly’ means you are addressing their needs in a correct manner, treating them properly, providing services properly, and giving them access to information they need,” he said.

At military bases, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts offers degrees in health care management, aviation management, electronic systems technologies and fire service management. The College of Engineering offers a degree in industrial technology, and the College of Education and Human Services offers a degree in workforce education and development.

Each college appoints a director to oversee the day-to-day academic matters.

More information about SIUC’s Office of Military Programs is available at