November 29, 2010

SIUC again earns recognition as military-friendly

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues to be among the nation’s elite when it comes to providing educational opportunities to student active duty military and veterans.

For the fourth consecutive year, Military Advanced Education magazine in its upcoming December 2010 issue lists SIUC as one of the nation’s 2010 top military-friendly colleges and universities. According to the magazine, the guide features colleges and universities “that best serve military servicemembers, veterans, and their spouses and dependents.”

“Our servicemen and women and student veterans have made many sacrifices for all of us, so we appreciate the opportunity to help them meet their educational and career goals,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “The members of our faculty and staff are dedicated professionals and this recognition speaks to their commitment.”

SIUC is one approximately 20 schools in the nation to be listed all four years, said Glenn R. Berlin, associate publisher of Military Advanced Education magazine. About 300 universities and colleges are included in the magazine, he said.

“Their military-friendly policies have consistently been among the best of any school in America,” Berlin said.

Thomas H. Beebe, director of SIUC’s Office of Military Programs, said the recognition the University continues to receive underscores its commitment to active duty military and veterans who participate in the programs.

“This says something about the University, the military programs being among the best out there, and the people who work in these programs being among the best out there,” he said.

There are approximately 1,400 active-duty and student veterans enrolled at 27 military bases and 12 civilian locations in the United States. In addition, there are 711 student veterans enrolled on campus this semester, the largest for any state institution in Illinois.

The Office of Military Programs coordinates the activities of the University’s three colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees to active-duty military and reserve personnel, their families, retirees, and at some locations, community members. The program started at Scott Air Force Base in 1973.

There are six degree programs available. 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.

In addition to about two dozen SIUC faculty members who teach courses, approximately 232 adjunct faculty who also teach at the off-campus locations are “critical to the success of the program,” Beebe said.

“They are people who are not only qualified in their respective fields, in most cases they also work in that field on a day-to-day basis,” Beebe said. “They bring not only the educational side but the practical side of the profession.”

The University has compiled an impressive string of honors for its focus on assisting student military veterans returning to the classroom, in addition to its continuing off-campus efforts.

In May, SIUC received the inaugural Governor’s Award for Excellence in Veterans Education. In October, Military Times Edge magazine listed SIUC second in the nation in making student military veterans’ success a priority in that publication’s inaugural survey, “Best for Vets: Colleges.” In June, that same magazine noted the University ranked 37th by active duty servicemembers who used tuition assistance during the 2009 fiscal year.

In August, G.I Jobs magazine named the University as a “Military Friendly School for 2011,” for the second consecutive year.

More information on veterans services offered at SIUC is available at More information on the University’s Office of Military Programs is available at