November 09, 2015

SIU earns honors for commitment to military

Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues to earn recognition for providing outstanding educational opportunities to student military veterans and active duty personnel both inside and outside the classroom. 

Military Times today (Nov. 9) named the university among the “Best for Vets: Colleges 2016” rankings – an achievement SIU has earned in each of the six years rankings have been published. 

The designation follows a similar announcement by Victory Media, which on Nov. 5, once again named the university a “Military Friendly School” for 2016. The university has earned the status in each of the seven years that Victory Media, whose publications include G.I. Jobs magazine, has published rankings. 

Paul S. Copeland, the university veterans’ services coordinator, said the “real value” that comes with the recognition is “the opportunity to take a hard look at policies and actions to make sure our efforts are targeted at student success.” 

“SIU Carbondale is a very student-friendly institution.  The resources that are already in place to advise and assist students from varied backgrounds make it relatively easy for me to assist veteran students by connecting them with fellow students, academic support, family support, wellness, employment opportunities and career resources,” he said. 

Copeland added the university is fortunate to have the Veterans Integrated to Academic Leadership (VITAL) program, which places a Veterans Administration social worker and peer support specialist on campus to work with veteran students. There is also an active student veteran organization, which is a member of the national Student Veterans of American organization.  

This fall, the university is serving 582 student military veterans on the Carbondale campus. In addition, the university serves 365 active-duty personnel at 20 off-campus military base locations in 13 states, and 206 online distance-learning students.  

SIU Carbondale has a longstanding commitment to provide outstanding educational opportunities to active duty personnel and student military veterans.  The university was among the first in the nation to offer off-campus academic programs to military personnel in 1973 at Scott Air Force Base.