Middle Tennessee State University continues to be recognized for its outstanding support of veterans, named Monday in the Military Times’ “Best for Vets: Colleges 2014” rankings.
It follows the university’s recognition in September on the 2014 Military Friendly Schools list by G.I. Jobs magazine, which recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges that delivers the best experience for military students. It’s the fourth time MTSU has received that designation.
“As a top choice of Tennessee’s veterans, MTSU has taken great pride in helping those who served our country succeed in our classrooms,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said. “We are honored to again be recognized for our commitment to veterans.”
Military Times, which is made up of the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, says it placed a new emphasis on academic rigor this year when conducting and scoring the fourth annual survey, a 150-question analysis of a school’s complete offerings for veterans.
MTSU was named among 86 schools ranked from roughly 600 participating colleges. View the complete rankings for four-year schools at http://projects.militarytimes.com/jobs/best-for-vets/2014/colleges/4-year/.
“As with all of the Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets: Colleges is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an institution a good fit for military veterans,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times EDGE.
The Military Friendly Schools list can be found at http://www.militaryfriendlyschools.com/mfslist.aspx.
The recognitions come as the university wrapped up a full slate of recent events to honor and support military veterans and their families. Veterans-related events during the past week included a job fair, memorial service, Saturday’s 32nd annual Salute to Armed Services, a 5K/10K fundraiser and choral concert.
MTSU was the first school in Tennessee with an on-campus representative for VetSuccess, a collaboration between the university and the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a place where students with military service can gather to obtain assistance and peer support.
The university also has a standing Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, as well as the student-led veterans group, Blue Raider American Veteran Organization (BRAVO).
“This campus is committed to all aspects of the education of our veterans, both in and out of the classroom,” said Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services. As evidence, Sells pointed to last weekend’s activities, “our suite of offices in Keathley University Center devoted to the service of our veterans, and the involvement of our faculty in mentoring and working with these students.”
According to Military Times, Best for Vets provides service men and women “a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them.” The rankings factored in service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill, and availability of specific programs to help service members.
The evaluation also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates and student-faculty ratio.
At MTSU, workshops for veterans are held each semester through the Academic Success series and through the Veterans Affairs office, said MTSU Registrar Ann Reaves. Topics, which range from educational benefits and certification to counseling and more, are presented by Ray Howell in Veteran Affairs and Heather Conrad in the VetSuccess office.
“We are very fortunate to have such dedicated staff and student workers, who are veterans themselves and who work hard every day to serve our student veterans when they have already given so much as current or former service members themselves,” Reaves said.
The rankings are published in full in the November issue of Military Times EDGE magazine and online at MilitaryTimes.com, as well as ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com.
For information on MTSU’s services for veteran students, visit www.mtsu.edu/military or call 615-898-2601.
— Jimmy Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)