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UW-Eau Claire named to Military Times 'Best for Vets' colleges list

November 27, 2012

BFV-Colleges-2013-logoEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been named to the Military Times "Best for Vets: Colleges 2013" list, an annual ranking of colleges doing the most to support military veterans.

UW-Eau Claire is one of 68 "Best for Vets" colleges selected from more than 650 institutions that responded to a Military Times survey. UW-Eau Claire and UW Oshkosh are the only two UW System universities included on the list.

"More colleges and universities than ever before responded to the Military Times survey this year, so being included among the top schools in terms of support for student veterans is truly an honor," said Miranda Cross-Schindler, UW-Eau Claire's military education benefits coordinator. "We are dedicated to giving these deserving individuals the support they need to reach their higher education goals."

Inclusion on the Military Times "Best for Vets" list is UW-Eau Claire's second recognition this fall for its support for military veterans. In September, UW-Eau Claire was named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine.

Among the factors considered in determining a school's inclusion on the list were whether its tuition falls below the GI Bill's nationwide cap; whether it waives some state residency rules for service members, allowing them to pay in-state tuition; whether it has a central office for handling veterans issues; whether it grants at least some academic credit for military training, as recommended by the American Council on Education; the number of its staff members dedicated to veteran issues and how much time they spend on veteran-specific work; the school's academic help for veterans, such as special withdrawal and re-enrollment policies for service members who are deployed, as well as veteran-only classes, tutoring and mentorship programs; and its graduation and student loan default rates.

The following are examples of initiatives on behalf of veterans at UW-Eau Claire:

  • The Veterans Center, which provides a place for veteran students to meet other veterans, as well as for veteran students, faculty and staff to learn about resources available to them, attend programs on veteran needs, participate in support groups and access a telehealth network through a partnership with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Minneapolis.
  • The Veterans and Military Education Benefits Office (Schofield 128), which assists veterans in applying for their G.I. Bill benefits and advises them about other benefits available from the state and federal governments. The office operates under Cross-Schindler's supervision. Support for Cross-Schindler's position came from UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Commitment, which is a differential tuition increase of $1,200 phased in over four years to preserve and enhance the distinctive UW-Eau Claire educational experience.
  • The Veterans Advisory Committee, which reports to the provost, consisting of staff from the university's offices providing veterans services and three veteran students. The committee meets several times a semester to talk about veteran students' needs and concerns, and makes recommendations to the provost.
  • The Veterans Club, a student organization that serves as a network of support for military veterans and their families at the university, educates the university community regarding the experiences of military veterans and provides service to the community.
  • Veteran support groups through the university's Counseling Services.
  • Veteran support through the university's Services for Students with Disabilities office.
  • Keynote speakers, educational sessions for faculty and staff about veterans' issues and other special events and programming.

 The following UW-Eau Claire academic staff members are available to talk with reporters about the university's support for student veterans:

  • Jacqueline Bonneville, assistant dean of students, 715-836-2003 or bonnevjk@uwec.edu.
  • Miranda Cross-Schindler, military education benefits coordinator, 715-836-5212 or crossmk@uwec.edu.
  • Bonnie Isaacson, nontraditional student adviser, 715-836-3259 or isaacsbj@uwec.edu.

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JP/DW

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