Several IU campuses designated 'Military Friendly' by G.I. Jobs
Sept. 26, 2012
G.I. Jobs has named IU Northwest, IU Bloomington, IU East, IU Southeast, IPFW and IUPUC as 2013 Military Friendly Schools, according to the magazine’s most recent ranking of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide.
The list honors the top 15 percent of higher education institutions that have committed to embracing the needs of active-duty and veteran students and assist students to search for universities and colleges based on their unique needs and preferences.
The colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.
This is the fourth year for G.I. Jobs' Military Friendly Schools ranking.
In addition, a new IU study reveals that Indiana's military institutions boost the state and local economy.
“We are proud to be listed as a Military Friendly School," said IU Northwest Chancellor William J. Lowe. "We work diligently to best serve the educational needs of our veteran and active-duty students, and of those students who have made a future commitment to the U.S. Armed Forces through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program on our campus.”
Currently, 130 veteran, active-duty and reservist students attend IU Northwest.
U.S. Army Sgt. Craig VanDyke of Schererville took an academic hiatus from the IU Northwest School of Business and Economics when he deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His subsequent re-entry into civilian life wasn't easy, but he credited IU Northwest -- specifically the Office of Veterans Affairs Services -- for facilitating his transition back into his degree program.
He graduated in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
U.S. Army Sgt. Shawna Wakefield of Valparaiso graduated in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in history after 15 years of diligent work and perseverance. The single mom of four achieved her dream of a college degree, balancing personal and academic commitments with mandatory drills and annual two-week training obligations as a member of the Indiana Army National Guard’s 113th Engineer Battalion.
“Making higher education work for students like Sgt. VanDyke and Sgt. Wakefield is central to the IU Northwest mission,” Lowe said. “Their personal and intellectual commitment to achieving a degree made their success possible, while the campus’s collective efforts and involvement -- defined in flexibility, patience and guidance -- furnished a workable foundation for their degree objectives.”
Veterans Affairs Resources, IU East
Tim Fienning, financial aid and scholarships advisor and VA certifying official at IU East, said the number of student veterans expanded from 25 in 2007 to 95 in spring 2012. These veterans live within the region, he said, as well as being stationed internationally in Germany, South Korea, England, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
“I take it as a privilege to serve our student veterans,” Fienning said. “IU East strives to go above and beyond to help our students on campus and online.”
Cam Sparks, president of the Student Veterans Organization and a specialist in the U.S. Army National Guard, said IU East is "very military friendly."
“Tim Fienning and Dennis Hicks go above and beyond their duties to assist military members and veterans," said Sparks, a criminal justice major. "They both have made my experience as a veteran returning to school an easy transition. Most of the faculty is exceptional in working with problems that arise with military members. It has been a great experience working with those individuals.”
More veterans affairs resources by campus