December 07, 2016

SIU recognized for assisting veterans, active-duty personnel

by Pete Rosenbery

Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues to earn national recognition for providing outstanding educational opportunities to student military veterans, active duty personnel and their families. 

The university was recently recognized again by Victory Media, whose publications include G.I. Jobs magazine, Military Times magazine, and Military Advanced Education & Transition magazine. The university has a strong history of being cited annually by each of the three national review programs. 

In November, Victory Media named SIU Carbondale a “Military Friendly® School” for 2017 for an eighth straight year, and Military Times magazine ranked SIU Carbondale in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2017” for four-year universities. The university has made that list in each of the six years it has been published. 

Military Advanced Education & Transition magazine, which will be released later this month, awarded SIU Carbondale a “Top School” designation in its “2017 Guide to Colleges & Universities.” The university has earned honors for 10 consecutive years, each of the years the magazine has published the guide. 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 hundreds of institutions, including private, public, for-profit, and not-for-profit universities, community colleges and online universities. 

“I’m proud to be working at a university with a long history of support for military, veteran and military family members,” Paul S. Copeland, the university’s veterans’ services coordinator, said. “I enjoy watching and assisting students in meeting their goals; being able to work with the veteran population is just icing on the cake.” 

This fall, the university is serving 467 student military veterans on the Carbondale campus. In addition, the university serves 432 active-duty personnel at off-campus military base locations in 14 states, and 92 online distance-learning students.  

Copeland noted that the university has extended campus and distance education programs that offer opportunities for service and family members to complete a degree while serving.  For those who choose on-campus programs, there is a full-service veterans center, whose mission is to support students in accessing veterans educational benefits, as well as provide supportive services to assist with academic, engagement or other transition needs.