EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been nationally-recognized as a 2022-23 Military Friendly® School. The University’s “Gold” designation emphasizes its commitment to successfully connect the military and civilian world through its Office of Military and Veteran Services.

The Military Friendly® Schools survey is the longest-running most comprehensive review of college and university investments in serving military and veteran students. According to militaryfriendly.com, the 2022-2023 Military Friendly® Schools list is “more exclusive than ever, and covers institutions offering certificate programs to doctoral degrees.” The number of schools participating in this year’s survey increased 50%, from 1,200 to 1,800 nationwide.

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“Recognition from these premier national rankings is a testament to the outstanding work being accomplished in the Office of Military and Veteran Services,” said director Kevin Wathen. “I want to thank and recognize the amazing staff in Enrollment Management and the Bursar’s Office, as well as the faculty who work diligently to support our military-connected students.”

“In advocating for military-connected students, SIUE’s Office of Military and Veteran Services is ensuring that the unique experiences of these individuals are valued and respected,” said Chancellor James T. Minor. “The University offers a place of belonging for military-connected students and is dedicated to providing the best possible experience for these students as they pursue their educational goals.”

The Office of Military and Veteran Services offers a wide range of programs and services:

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The Military and Veteran Resource Center (MAVRC) in the Morris University Center on the Edwardsville campus is a space where students can congregate, receive information on benefits and resources, and study.
The Green Zoom program is a military culture awareness training module for faculty and staff.

“From Uniform To University” is a panel discussion series which highlights the diverse identities and experiences of those who have served in the United States military. This year’s programs have included “Afghanistan War Veterans in the Community,” where war veterans shared their realities of life in the service and living as combat veterans, and “African American Servicemembers and Veterans in the Community” which covered topics detailing the realities African Americans face while in uniform, transition back into civilian life, and navigating higher education.
The MAVRC Affinity Groups — Veterans of Color, Women Veterans, LGBTQIA+ Veterans, Disabled Veterans, and Military and Veteran Spouses and Dependents — build fellowship and networking among military-affiliated students, faculty and staff, and individuals in the community. The veteran groups bring together the military-affiliated community, and connect this population with resources and services for personal and professional development.

The MAVRC Book Club provides the opportunity to read and discuss a diverse selection of books that highlight the contributions of women veterans, veterans of color and LGBTQIA+ veterans – groups that have a history of hostile treatment in the military and whose service has been marginalized; dissect the policies and procedures that have shaped the military and veteran life; and provide a worldly perspective of conflicts that the United States military has engaged in since its formal establishment.
Institutions earning the 2022-23 Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2022-2023 survey; SIUE is one of 282 to be selected for “Gold” award status for their leading practices, outcomes and effective programs. Methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. The complete can be found at militaryfriendly.com.

About Military Friendly® Schools:

The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at militaryfriendly.com.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.

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