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UM Ranked Among Top Schools for Military and Veteran Education

For the third straight year, UM is officially one of the nation’s top schools, according to Military Advanced Education & Transition’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities. Photo by Thomas Graning / Ole Miss Communications
For the third straight year, UM is officially one of the nation’s top schools, according to Military Advanced Education & Transition’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities. Photo by Thomas Graning / Ole Miss Communications

For the third straight year, the University of Mississippi is officially one of the nation’s top schools, according to Military Advanced Education & Transition’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities.

MAE&T awarded the designation of a Top School after measuring best practices in military and veteran education. The guide was released in December and is available online at http://www.mae-kmi.com.

“I was happy to see the designation,” said Michael Howland, MSG, USA (Ret.) and coordinator of UM’s Veteran and Military Services. “We were given this designation in 2014 and 2015, and it is a testament to the work that Ole Miss has done to create quality student services for veterans, military and their dependents attending school here.”

This designation, coupled with UM’s designation as a Purple Heart Campus in September, reinforces the hard work done by administration, faculty and staff to assist veterans and military students in the successful pursuit of their dreams.

“I feel this designation will let prospective students and their families know that we recognize their service and have created a nurturing environment for these students to excel,” Howland said.

“As a 25-year veteran myself, I can safely say that for military and military families, knowing that someone understands their realities is a comfort. I expect good things to come from this recognition.”

The guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions, including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year and two-year colleges. Covering community colleges to state universities, online universities and nationally known centers of higher learning, MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about institutions that provide exceptional services to military personnel and veterans.

In its ninth year of publishing the guide, MAE&T was the first publication to launch a reference tool of this type.

This year, institutions were evaluated on their military culture, financial aid, flexibility, general support, on-campus support and online support services. Each school’s performance rating by category is represented by an easy-to-recognize dashboard, enabling prospective students to quickly target schools that follow best practices in military education, and then put these in context with other academic or career considerations.

With input from an advisory board of educational and government experts, and criteria based on recommendations from the VA and military services, MAE&T’s Guide to Colleges and Universities provides foundational information a prospective student can use in framing his or her educational needs.

“Our goal is to be a dynamic resource for active service members and those who have moved from the military to their civilian careers, helping them find the school that best fits their plans for the future,” said Kelly Fodel, MAE&T editor. “We think this year’s guide is our most comprehensive to date, thanks to our newly established advisory board. The board evaluated the drafts of the questionnaire, made pages of notes and suggestions and helped to redefine questions for clarity.”

Besides being included in the December issue of Military Advanced Education & Transition, the guide is published in a searchable online database. Students have access to all the survey questions and answers provided by the schools, as well as explanations about critical issues such as activation and deployment policies, withdrawal policies, scholarship and financial aid information, and important support information.

“While we realize that all schools are unique, we focus our annual survey on the best practices that make a true difference to service members and student veterans,” Fodel said. “These best practices have been asserted by various higher education groups and reinforced by veteran groups, and we consider our survey to be the most detailed and informative in the industry.”

Visit http://www.mae-kmi.com for online access to MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities, or pick up a copy of the December issue of Military Advanced Education & Transition.

Courtesy of Edwin Smith and Ole Miss News Desk

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