Colorado State University - Pueblo earns a national Best for Vets military-friendly ranking
PUEBLO – Colorado State University-Pueblo has earned a national ranking for its commitment to helping military veterans further their education.
Military Times EDGE magazine ranked CSU-Pueblo among the nation’s top 25 colleges and universities in its upcoming “Best for Vets: Colleges” issue. CSU-Pueblo tied with George Washington University for 21st out of 101 colleges included in the rankings. More than 4,000 colleges and universities were invited to submit information on their programs, policies, and resources for veterans. Only one other Colorado institution made the list (Metro State College of Denver, 39th). A complete list of the rankings may be found at http://militarytimesedge.com/projects/best-for-vets-colleges-2010/
The magazine ranks institutions based on services and policies that support veterans, including financial assistance, academic flexibility, campus culture, and support services for veterans. Examples of positive attributes might include the presence of veteran groups on campus, policies for handling military withdrawals, scholarships for veterans, acceptance of military schooling for academic credit, training of faculty and staff on veterans’ issues, special staff or offices who handle veterans’ issues, and special programs and events for veterans.
The rankings also looked at the percentage of vets in the student body, the presence of ROTC programs, Veterans Day observances, and outreach efforts to the military population. The University earned four out of five stars for financial assistance, academic flexibility, and support services.
“CSU-Pueblo’s reputation as a military-friendly school continues to grow as we strive to help veterans meet their educational and professional goals and to help them feel welcome, appreciated, and supported,” said Kevin Walda, interim director of the Veterans Upward Bound program.
Walda said pre-collegiate programs like Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) provide preparatory classes, academic advising, financial aid assistance, and mentorship necessary to support the increasing number of military service members, veterans, and their families as they transition from military to civilian life. The VUB program at CSU-Pueblo is unique because of its partnerships with community colleges in Pueblo and Colorado Springs.
“Through VUB, partnering institutions, and with the support of CSU-Pueblo, we have created a channel to help navigate students through the various challenges and opportunities found in higher education,” Walda said.
The University also has a Veterans Educational Benefits office, which assists veterans, active duty, and dependents as they pursue and receive educational benefits. The University actively recruits veterans and their dependents at several locations, including the Air Force Academy, Ft. Carson Peterson Air Force Base, Fort Hood, and partners with the Mobile Vet, a veterans services on wheels service, that provides walk-in counseling to veterans once per week during the academic year. The University also continues to apply for grants to expand services that keep pace with its growing veteran student population.
Through the University’s Continuing Education office in Colorado Springs, two full-time military site managers and several student assistants serve active duty, various era veterans, vocational rehabilitation, and dependents of slain or disabled veterans. Located at Ft. Carson, the representatives travel to other military sites providing advising and referrals to both CSU-Pueblo and CSU-Global campus. In addition, these representatives have provided training in Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the campus community. They support the Wounded Warriors Project and have represented the University by sending volunteers to work at the United States Olympic Training Facility last May when they hosted the Wounded Warrior Games.
Located in Pueblo, Colorado, nicknamed the Home of Heroes because of the large number of Medal of Honor recipients, CSU-Pueblo also seeks to provide events for the campus and community that honor and interest the military population. This weekend, for example, in conjunction with Homecoming activities, the University is hosting the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT), including the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall as well as The Cost of Freedom Tribute.