UW-Eau Claire earns inclusion in 2013 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & UniversitiesJanuary 22, 2013
EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been designated a top performer in Military Advanced Education's 2013 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities.
The guide provides military veterans and potential students with information about academic institutions that go out of their way to implement military-friendly policies in support of returning servicemen and women.
Inclusion in the 2013 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities is UW-Eau Claire's third recognition since fall 2012 for its support for military veterans. In September, UW-Eau Claire was named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine, and in November it was named to the Military Times "Best for Vets: Colleges 2013" list.
"I feel extremely honored that our campus was selected for the 2013 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities, along with the other recognitions we have received," said Dr. Beth Hellwig, UW-Eau Claire vice chancellor for student affairs. "It's critical that our veterans come home to universities and colleges that support them and try to address their unique needs. We have a team in academic affairs and student affairs who are very passionate about our veterans and have provided programs, such as specialized counseling opportunities and support, to insure student success on our campus."
Among the criteria used to determine inclusion in the guide were the flexibility of online learning options, on-campus active duty/veteran assistance, support provided to the families of service members, faculty trained in veteran reintegration issues and full-time counselors trained in veteran-specific mental health concerns, to name a few.
Bonnie Isaacson, nontraditional student adviser and co-chair of the Veterans Advisory Committee, said UW-Eau Claire works hard to provide a supportive learning environment for returning veterans.
"We provide veterans help on the front end with assistance in admissions, choosing a major, making them aware of their benefits, and linking them to campus resource information, such as tutoring, career services, counseling and offering a contact person for support," Isaacson said. "We also have an active Veterans Club that helps veterans connect to campus and the community through fundraising events. The Veterans Center is a place where students can go to study or engage with others who are going through similar situations, giving them the opportunity to connect in informal mentoring. We really strive to promote a military-friendly culture for our veteran students and a sense of camaraderie on campus."
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 the supervision of Miranda Cross-Schindler, military education benefits coordinator. 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 services 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Miranda Cross-Schindler, military education benefits coordinator, 715-836-5212 or email@example.com.
- Bonnie Isaacson, nontraditional student adviser, 715-836-3259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.