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Richard Carter, director of nontraditional programs, and President Al Goldfarb.

WIU Named Military Friendly School

August 18, 2009


MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University recently was designated as a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs Magazine and will be featured in the "Guide to Military Friendly Schools." According to G.I. Jobs, this honor ranks Western in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to assist America's veterans as students.

Universities and colleges on the list provide such benefits to student veterans as on-campus veterans programs, credit for service, military spouse programs and more. The list was compiled through research in which G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide.

According to Richard Carter, director of nontraditional programs at WIU, a few of the many reasons behind Western's selection as a military friendly school include the University's strong on-campus resources for veterans and the flexibility of academic program offerings, including online courses and the unique Board of Trustees/Bachelor of Arts (BOT/BA) degree program.

"The BOT/BA degree program, which was established in 1972, serves adult students who are unable to attend a traditional college program due to other obligations, like military service," he explained. "In addition, rather than requiring a specific major, the program allows the student to design her or his program to meet individual educational goals. Students may also be eligible for academic credit for college-level learning that was done in a non-collegiate setting, such as the military or on-the-job training."

While the BOT/BA degree is designed as a distance learning/online program, students majoring in the program also have the option of attending classes on Western's Macomb and Quad Cities campuses. For a student veteran, the program provides a great deal of individualization and flexibility, Carter added.

Western's Student Assistance and Parent Service Center (SAPSC) Veterans Resources serves as a one-stop location where veterans, guard members, reservists or current military members can receive individual assistance with any question or concern they may encounter. Veterans Resources is located in the Student Assistance and Parent Service Center, first floor of the University Union; however, it will soon be relocated to the University's Wright House, which is on Ward Street, directly across the street from the Alumni House.

Veterans Resources has also joined forces with the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) to sponsor a service center on the WIU-Macomb campus each month. Every second and fourth Wednesday, a Veterans' Affairs service officer will be on campus to assist veterans with any VA concerns including, but not limited to, VA medical care applications and applications for service-connected disability compensation. Other information available includes the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program; veterans healthcare; jobs tax credit; hunting and fishing licenses; and camping permits for disabled veterans. Details will also be available regarding the new Post 9/11 GI Bill.

In addition, the WIU-Quad Cities campus recently entered into a partnership agreement with 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 Rock Island 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 allows individuals the opportunity to complete an exam, such as a College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test, in person on Arsenal Island. A full-time WIU academic adviser, whose office is at the Arsenal, will assist in administering exams, provide course and program information and advise students how to register for classes at Western.

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 the Military Friendly Schools designation, the BOT/BA program or online and distance courses at Western Illinois University, contact Carter at (309) 298-1929 or R-Carter@wiu.edu. For more information about the School of Extended Studies and online initiatives, visit wiu.edu/extendedstudies.

For more information about Veterans Resources, contact the SAPSC at (309) 298-2092 or VeteransResources@wiu.edu.

For more information on WIU programs at the RIA, contact Jacquelyn Holan at (309) 762-1988.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606