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Military Publication Ranks UW in Top 20 as ‘Best University for Veterans’


November 5, 2010 — Military Times Edge, a publication that connects military veterans with job opportunities, ranks the University of University in the top 20 colleges and universities on its list of the best schools for veterans.

UW is ranked 18th among the top 100 schools listed in the recent "Best For Vets Colleges" list. The publication invited more than 4,000 colleges and universities to submit comments about their programs, policies and resources for veterans. The print edition of Military Times Edge is published 10 times a year and is inserted in the Military Times, a weekly newspaper. Online, MilitaryTimesEDGE.com is updated throughout the month with breaking news about careers and educational opportunities.

The rankings come at a time when UW recently developed a task force to review the needs of military veterans on campus and is implementing the group's recommendations.

"When I shared the news with the student veterans who staff our new Veterans Services Center, they were excited and happy that UW ranked so high and indicated the rating was a big deal," says Dolores Cardona, UW associate dean of students who chaired the task force. "We want our program to be a model program and are working toward that goal."

In its early meetings, the Veterans Services Task Force identified existing services and resources for military students enrolled at UW. Out of those reports came the idea for the need of a central location for that segment of students to have their own meeting space.

The new Veterans Services Center (VSC) opened this semester in Knight Hall, Room 241. The center offers services to all active duty and veteran students and those who formerly served in the armed forces. The VSC promotes a "welcoming, caring, support system and resource for a successful college experience," Cardona says. "The veterans who use the center really enjoy it."

Some of those services offered by UW are mentioned in Military Times Edge's rankings. Colleges were evaluated in four criteria areas:

-- Financial assistance. Scholarships, discounts and waivers specifically for veterans and their dependents, including the Yellow Ribbon program and relaxed residency restrictions for in-state tuition; policies to protect veterans in case of late-arriving benefits.

-- Academic flexibility. Participation in the Servicemembers' Opportunity Colleges consortium and Degree Network Systems and acceptance of military learning and subject tests, such as the College Level Examination Program, for academic credit. School policies on military-related withdrawals also were assessed.

-- Campus culture. Percentage of veterans in the student body and faculty, ROTC programs, Veterans Day observance, local student veteran organizations and training for faculty and staff in veterans issues.

-- Support services. Number and type of staff designated to work with veterans, including the number of students receiving work-study allowances from the Veterans Affairs Department. Efforts to reach out to veterans and acclimate them to campus and create a veterans' community, including mentorship programs, special orientation sessions, service projects and academic support.

UW received 4.5 stars out of 5 in financial assistance and 4 stars each for academic flexibility and support services. The university was assigned 2.5 stars for campus culture.

"The area that we received the lower mark is the one the task force will work the hardest to address," Cardona says.

For more information about the VSC, contact Cardona at (307) 766-6228 or e-mail cardona@uwyo.edu.

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