January 04, 2016

University again earns ‘military-friendly’ recognition

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is again earning recognition for providing outstanding educational opportunities to student military veterans and active duty personnel. 

Military Advanced Education & Transition magazine selected SIU Carbondale as one of the nation’s 2016 top military-friendly colleges and universities. The magazine’s December issue lists the university as a “Top School,” indicative of a school that exhibits “best practices in military and veteran education.” 

SIU Carbondale has made the list in each of the nine years the magazine has published its “Guide to Colleges and Universities.” The magazine examined six categories important to service members, veterans, their spouses and dependents -- on-campus support services, financial aid, flexibility, general support, online support services and military culture. The guide is a result of a questionnaire of “military-supportive policies” at more than 600 institutions, including private, public, for-profit, and not-for-profit universities, community colleges and online universities. 

The guide is available at http://www.kmimediagroup.com/mae/

This designation follows recognition for the university’s focus on providing educational opportunities to veterans and active duty personnel from two other publications. In November, Victory Media, whose publications include G.I. Jobs magazine, named SIU Carbondale a “Military Friendly® School” for 2016 for a seventh straight year, and Military Times magazine ranked SIU Carbondale in the top 40 of its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2016” for four-year universities. The university has made that list in each of the five years it has been published. 

The respective rankings are important, Paul S. Copeland, the university’s veterans’ services coordinator, said. 

“The existence of organizations that evaluate schools is very helpful, in conjunction with the Veterans Administration comparison tool for current and prospective students to make decisions regarding their educational objectives,” Copeland said. “If you are looking for a specific environment, program or activity, the lists can help you sort through the material quickly and identify a program that meets your expectations.  I really appreciate the support from across the university in making it possible for SIU Carbondale to be recognized repeatedly as a school that supports active duty, veterans and military family members.  Recognition is a result of cooperation and teamwork across the campus to engage, encourage and support students.”