Victory Media, the parent company of G.I. Jobs magazine, has named Wright State University military friendly again. It is the eighth consecutive year the university has earned the designation.
This news comes just days after Military Times named Wright State to its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 list.
Wright State has long been recognized as a welcoming campus for veterans and military personnel. In addition to G.I. Jobs, Military Advanced Education has also honored the university for several consecutive years as military friendly. In March, Wright State earned the No. 1 ranking on Military.com and CollegeRecon’s list of Best Veteran Programs.
“The university has really invested a lot of time and resources and human capital into making sure we make our student veterans feel they belong and that they’re welcomed here,” said Seth Gordon, director of Wright State’s Veteran and Military Center. “There are a lot of things for us to be proud of that have happened just in the last year and half.”
The university serves about 750 veterans or military-connected students — service members, Guard and Reserve members and military dependents. Wright State offers an array of resources to help those students transition to campus.
In fall 2014, Wright State opened a new Veteran and Military Center (VMC), 4,500-square-foot area designed to provide a welcoming space on campus for veteran and military students. The VMC is designed to efficiently provide support services for veteran and military students and provide a space where they can relax and study together.
The VMC is considered a model for processing GI Bill benefits — something Gordon said is directly related to the efforts of Amanda Watkins, the center’s associate director, and Ty Lea Brewsaugh, VMC assistant director and certifying benefits official. The center processes $7.5 million in tuition benefits and related benefits a year for student veterans.
Wright State awards education credits for military training and experience and offers courses designed to appeal to veteran and military students. The university also delivers high-quality career counseling and helps veterans connect with other students through campus events, student clubs and the VMC.
The university’s Graduate School offers scholarships for Ohio National Guardsmen and military personnel and civilian workers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base who want to pursue graduate degrees. The College of Nursing and Health offers a Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing for veterans and members of the Air Force, Army and Navy.
Wright State has also participated in the University of Michigan’s Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) Program, a peer-mentoring program for student veterans.
“It’s the Cadillac of peer-mentoring programs in veterans’ education,” Gordon said.
The VMC has also piloted the Veterans’ Voices program to train student veterans to gather the oral histories of other veterans using the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project model.
This year, stories by a number of student veterans will air on WYSO public radio. The third season of the series will debut Thursday, Nov. 10, on WWSU 106.9 FM and on Friday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), on WYSO 91.3 FM.
“Those are things that are happening because students are taking ownership of what we’re doing here. That’s always been the goal,” Gordon said.