Eau Claire’s College of Business has been named a Best for Vets: Business School by Military Times for 2016.
After conducting surveys with veterans around the country who are completing business degrees, Military Times ranked Eau Claire’s College of Business as the 13th best school for veterans in the nation.
“Our motto is ‘They served, we care,’” Bonnie Isaacson, Nontraditional Student Coordinator, said. “We want to honor our student veterans by making them feel welcome and helping them achieve their goals.”
This ranking recognizes universities that go above and beyond to support student veterans and their families. Eau Claire provides a plethora of resources for veterans and Military Times looks for the following criteria during the ranking process:
— Whether state residency is waived to allow veteran students to pay in-state tuition.
— Whether tuition falls at or below the GI Bill’s nationwide cap.
— Whether the university participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, in which the school partners with the DVA to provide part or all of the difference between its tuition rate and the amount covered by the GI Bill.
— Acceptance of graduate academic credits for military training, as recommended by the American Council on Education.
— Availability of veteran-only classes, tutoring and mentorship programs.
Academic help for veterans, such as special withdrawal and re-enrollment policies for service members who are deployed.
— Number of staff members dedicated to veterans’ issues and the amount of time they spend on veteran-specific work.
— Scope and frequency of military-related training for teachers and administrators.
Rate of retention, course completion and graduation among both veteran students within the College of Business and the university as a whole.
Veteran and Eau Claire alumna Miranda Cross-Schindler, military and Continuing Education program coordinator, works one-on-one with student veterans and serves as a resource for veterans who wish to pursue higher education, Isaacson said.
The university also conducts veterans’ awareness training for faculty and staff and provides student services such as the Veterans Center in Schofield 20 and the Veterans Club, which provides a place for student veterans to interact with one another and build communal ties.
Brandon Cedarblade, junior marketing analytics student, currently serves in the Wisconsin Army National Guard as a Combat Medic. The Veterans Services office provides students with the individual attention they may need to successfully deal with their benefits, Cedarblade said.
“I would have been completely lost as a new student veteran if it hadn’t been for this office,” he said.
The College of Business is home to the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) Program, which offers credit for Military Science and Leadership and is a good starting place for anyone looking to go to college and start their career as an officer, Cedarblade said.
In addition to these services for on-campus students, Isaacson explained the Dean of Students office provides assistance to veterans taking a leave of absence due to their military duties.
“We did a good job here by being proactive in setting up these programs,” Isaacson said. “We feel we can give back to or veterans by providing them with the best services and have an understanding staff to help them achieve their goals.”
Despite the challenges of attending school after military services, one in three veterans completes a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to USA Today.