WIU Named Best for Vets College
November 11, 2013
MACOMB, IL – For the fourth consecutive year, Western Illinois University has been selected as a "Best for Vets College" by Military Times EDGE magazine. Western, ranked 37th, is one of two Illinois four-year universities in the top 50.
According to the Military Times, more than 4,000 colleges and universities were invited to respond to a survey detailing programs, policies and resources for veterans. Selection criteria included financial assistance; academic flexibility; campus culture; and support services. In addition to the Military Times recognition, for the fifth consecutive year, Western Illinois has been designated as a "Military Friendly School" by GI Jobs Magazine. Western has also been recognized as a top military friendly school by Military Advanced Education and will be featured in the 2014 "Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities."
In addition to offering the Bachelor of General Studies degree and flexible academic studies and support to active military personnel and veterans, for many years Western has provided the resources these men and women need upon entering – or returning to – school. The University's Wright Residence, which serves as the Veterans Resource Center, provides streamlined services and resources in a centralized location to ensure all veterans, guard members, reservists and active duty personnel receive individual assistance with any question or concern they may encounter. The center also sponsors a series of group seminars/workshops each year based on the current needs of its military student population.
The center also has in place a peer-mentoring program, and has established partnerships with various campus and community organizations. Students gain direct access to a comprehensive array of services such as VA benefits, financial assistance, disability resources, health care, career development and personal wellness. The center features computer access, a study/meeting room, a lounge and a three-season porch. Four student-veteran peer assistants work with student-veterans. Veterans Resources, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA), sponsors a service center on the WIU-Macomb campus each month.
Other partnerships include an agreement between the WIU-Quad Cities campus and the Rock Island (IL) Arsenal (RIA), which allows current – and potential – college students interested in completing college proficiency exams to complete the exams at the Arsenal. The WIU-QC exam facility, which is open to the public, is the first testing site in the Illinois Quad Cities. The agreement between Western and the Arsenal provides individuals the opportunity to complete an exam, such as a College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test, in person on Arsenal Island. This is the second agreement between the Arsenal and WIU-Quad Cities. In January 2008, the two entities joined forces to allow members of the RIA community to seek undergraduate and graduate degrees offered at the WIU-QC campus in accordance with a Department of Defense Directive on Voluntary Education for Military Personnel.
For more information about veterans' resources at Western Illinois University, contact Kathy Meyers at KJ-Meyers@wiu.edu or (309) 298-3505.