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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Sept. 26, 2012) – Initiatives that include the establishment of a Military Tuition Package, the Military and Veterans Success Center, and other campus-wide efforts to meet the educational needs of men and women in uniform have contributed to the University of Central Missouri’s recognition among 2013 Military Friendly Schools®.
The designation is provided by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The list honors 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace U.S. military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows UCM’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director of G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media. “As interest in education grows we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”
This is the fourth year for the list of Military Friendly Schools®. The list is compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. According to Victory Media, each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings that are developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board comprised of educators across the nation. The 1,739 institutions on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.
Lynn Lowder, a combat veteran who was hired as the first director of Military and Veteran Services at UCM in 2012, attributes the Military Friendly Schools® designation to the leadership of University President Charles Ambrose, who has supported initiatives to assist active duty military and veteran students.
He said that under Ambrose’s leadership, “UCM has focused on the three core areas that are and have always been relevant to veterans transitioning from the military, and that is education, health care to include mental wellness, and jobs.”
Lowder stated that UCM is a member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges Consortium, which means the university strictly follows principles and criteria by the American Council on Education regarding articulation of credits. By its affiliation with SOC, the university is committed to the establishment of institutional policies that allow mobile service members and their families to complete degrees rather than just accumulate course credit.
Other factors contributing to making UCM military friendly include the establishment of the state-of-the-art Military and Veterans Success Center, which assists military and veteran students to be successful in their education by providing individual and group study areas, computer work stations, and dedicated staff. It assists veterans who want to transition from the military into civilian careers by furthering their college education, and works with the Vet Center in Kansas City to provide mental wellness services that include helping veterans deal with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Such opportunities, according to Lowder, are designed to “assist combat veterans, their spouses and their children in preparing to move forward to the next chapter of their lives.”
UCM has also initiated opportunities such as the Military Tuition Package, which helps pay for educational expenses that are not covered by military benefits, and has established cooperative programs with Whiteman Air Force Base and the Missouri National Guard to better meet needs of their active duty personnel.
Lowder also believes that the commitment to those who serve their country extends into the local community. “UCM and the Warrensburg community combined provide an ideal location for active duty and military veterans in that they provide a safe, secure and supportive environment,” he said.
An article and complete list of 2013 Military Friendly Schools® will be featured in the annual G.I. Jobs
Guide to Military Friendly Schools®, which will be distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October. The Guide and associated media also will be featured at the Carrier Classic college basketball game on Nov. 9 between Ohio State and Marquette on the deck of the USS Yorktown.
Individuals who want to learn more about institutions that attained the Military Friendly Schools® designation can visit the web at militaryfriendlyschools.com. To learn more about educational opportunities for active duty military personnel and veterans at UCM, visit the Military and Veterans Success Center in Elliott Union 117.