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Virginia Tech named to list of top military-friendly schools


   

Jadee Ragland, Grayson Chretien, and Eric Hodges Virginia Tech and its student veterans -- including, from left, Jadee Ragland, Grayson Chretien, and Eric Hodges, who are among the nearly 200 enrolled at Tech -- are tackling the unique challenges that veterans can face on a college campus.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 18, 2012 – Virginia Tech has been named to the 2013 Military Friendly Schools list, compiled by Victory Media, a media group that focuses on transitioning military personnel into civilian life.

The list recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that actively support the academic and personal pursuits of current military service members, veterans, and their family members on campus. Of the more than 12,000 VA-approved schools, just over 1,700 were included in the list.

Schools were ranked in nine categories: military support on campus, academic credibility, percent of military students, academic credit for military service, flexibility for military students, veteran graduation rates, government approvals, student tuition assistance, and student survey/employment rates.

“The university is building on its support for our veterans and military students and their families,” said Karen Eley Sanders, associate vice president for student success. “While service members and veterans have always been part of our campus community, there has been a dramatic increase in the 11 years since the 9/11 attacks. When troops return home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the need is heightened as they begin to find a place in society and many take advantage of educational benefits available to them.”

The university is expanding services to meet the demand. The Office of Veterans Service opened in May 2012 to serve as the first-stop for veterans and their dependents. The office handles all compliance paperwork with the Veterans Administration and coordinates with the Student Success Center to ensure student veterans are connected to resources to help with their transition to academic expectations as well as campus civilian life.

The Office of Veterans Services is located at 130 Student Services Building and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Virginia Tech’s Veteran and Military Student Support Initiative will host an academic conference solely focused on veteran-related research, the first such conference of its kind hosted by a university. “Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse” will take place on Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-11, 2012.

The goal is to call attention to the emerging research and growing need for interdisciplinary efforts relating to all aspects of veterans’ experience – from access to higher education, healthcare, and employment; the efficacy of psychological and medical services; veterans’ identity, diversity, and inclusion; higher education; and veterans’ engagement with civil society.

Wendy Lang, executive director of Operation College Promise, will deliver the keynote address. She will unveil, for the first time, data collected from a landmark study on student veterans’ progress toward degree completion. The study, conducted by Operation College Promise and the Pat Tillman Foundation, is the first nationwide longitudinal study on the issue.

Virginia Sen. John Edwards, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the early 1970s and attained the rank of captain, will be the featured guest and speaker during lunch on Sunday.

Beyond the presentations, veterans can participate in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project, an oral history project designed to archive veteran experiences.

For more information on the research that will be presented, a full conference schedule, and a link to register, visit the Veterans at Virginia Tech website.

“Through our expanded services to military personnel, veterans, and their families as well as an innovative conference centered on veterans studies, Virginia Tech strives to uphold its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), to those who have already defended that for their country,” said Daniel Wubah, vice president for undergraduate education and deputy provost.

Student veterans founded Veterans @ VT, a chapter of Student Veterans of America. Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger invited members of the group and their family members to watch the Virginia Tech versus Austin Peay football game on Sept. 8, 2012, from the President’s Box. The community will show its support of the military and its veterans during the Bowling Green game on Sept. 22, with Military Appreciation Day.

The Division of Undergraduate Education provides academic support, programs, and courses that touch on every aspect of the undergraduate experience, from recruitment to graduation and beyond. Its offices, units, and centers advocate for ways to create and nurture a vibrant and diverse community of engaged learners, while supporting the development of innovative and dynamic faculty. The division is committed to excellence in student access, retention, and success for the university’s 24,000 undergraduate students.


Alumnus Stanley Cohen

Stanley Cohen, who received degrees from Virginia Tech in 1949 and 1951, is a World War II veteran. He talked about his love for the university during a visit in 2010.


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