UW on new list of military-friendly colleges

Sept. 20, 2012

by Käri Knutson

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been named to a nationwide list of military-friendly schools.

The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list, released by Victory Media, honors the top 15 percent of college, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military service members, veterans and spouses as students, and ensure their success on campus.

Photo: John Bechtol

Bechtol

“UW-Madison continues to refine and improve its veteran engagement strategy,” says John Bechtol, assistant dean of students for veterans. “We’re proactively contacting admitted veterans before they get on campus, and during orientation, to assist in their transition.”

There are also several new initiatives this year, including the Pres House offering special housing scholarships to veterans at the UW. Today, the first ever Veterans Networking Reception is being held with more than 40 employers at the Lowell Center in conjunction with the campus career fair.

“Our goal is to build a support framework from admission, through graduation, to employment,” Bechtol says.

UW-Madison has more than 600 military or veteran students enrolled. Among the qualities that make the campus military friendly, the UW is being recognized for its numerous social programs, academic support and recruitment, and retention of students with military experience.

The university keeps accounts open of students called to active duty, so the students may still access email, use services and register for classes before their return. Students who return to school within two semesters after their release from active duty do not need to re-apply.

The "Vets for Vets" student organization was established in 1972, and also served as one of the founding chapters of the Student Veterans Association in 2008. It was voted best SVA Chapter in 2011.

In addition to the proximity to campus of the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs, the Dane County Veterans Service Office and the Veterans Administration Hospital, UW-Madison is one of the few schools that has all three ROTC branches.

“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools shows UW-Madison’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” says Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media. “As interest in education grows we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”