University News

WIU: Best for Vets College 2020

November 26, 2019

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - -For the 10th consecutive year, Western Illinois University has been selected as a Military Times "Best for Vets College" by Military Times magazine. Western also ranks number one among all Illinois public and private colleges.

According to the Military Times, 130 schools - from four-year to two-year, public, private and trade schools - responded to a survey detailing programs, policies and resources for veterans. Institutions were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic outcomes/quality, and cost and financial aid.

"It is an honor for Western Illinois University to be recognized for our reputation for providing outstanding educational opportunities and support to active military personnel and veterans," said Interim President Martin Abraham. "We are proud of the continued recognition of our programs and services, as well as our longstanding tradition of serving the men and women of the armed forces."

In addition to offering a number of online degree programs, as well as flexible academic studies and support to active military personnel and veterans, Western provides the resources that service members 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 that 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 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 also features computer access, a study/meeting space and student-veteran peer assistants who work with student-veterans. Western's Beu Health Center partners with the Iowa City VA Healthcare System to provide the only tele-mental health facility in the nation to be located on a college campus. The Center for Military/Academic Transition and Health (CMATH) on the WIU campus provides psychiatry, psychology and mental health counseling services through secure video conferencing; these services are available to WIU student veterans, as well as community veterans, who already have their military benefits in place. Contact the CMATH clinic at (309) 298-3697 for further information.

Western will celebrate Military Appreciation Week through Saturday, Nov. 16. This year's theme is "Honoring Leathernecks: Past, Present and Future."

The week will include multiple events, such as a Military Tribute Ceremony to honor all veterans and service members, followed by a Family Salute to recognize the sacrifices made by spouses, dependents and other family members of veterans and service members on Veterans Day. Later this week, there will also be a Military Trivia and Sports competitions, such as All-Star Tug of War Battle of the Branches Bench Press Competition and sessions: "Honoring Our History," "Why Appreciate the Military," "In Their Own Words: Korea and Vietnam" and "In Their Own Words: Middle East and Afghanistan."

The week will conclude with an Open House and 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Veterans Resource Center to recognize the contributions of individuals who established and have contributed to the Veterans Resource Center.

For more information about the schedule, see

For more information about veterans' resources at Western Illinois University, contact Ron Pettigrew at or (309) 298-3505.

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