The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
has made G.I. Jobs’s list of Military Friendly Schools and placed it in their
top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country for
the third year in a row.
G.I. Jobs magazine is the premier
publication for those transitioning from the military. G.I. Jobs is dedicated
to helping veterans be successful after they are done serving in the military.
The list of military-friendly schools is one aspect of G.I. Jobs intended to
aid veterans in deciding where to go to school.
UWSP was selected to be on this list due to
a number of factors, including being a Veteran Affairs (VA) approved school,
offering social support for veterans. UWSP also has a full-time staff dedicated
to assisting veterans. There are
currently over 325 veterans attending UWSP.
VA Coordinator Ann Whipp works full time at
UWSP to help make it as easy as possible for veterans to attend school here.
“UWSP values that we have someone that’s
dedicated to help veterans get their benefits. But it’s not just that. Ann will
help them if they have not seen admissions yet or if they are having trouble
with financial aid and a variety of other issues,” said Ed Lee, Associate Registrar.
One of the aspects of UWSP that may appeal
to veterans is the Veterans Club, a place where veterans can socialize with
each other in a comfortable atmosphere. The Veterans Club holds regular events
and social gatherings, like ice fishing tournaments or weekly trivia.
“We have lot of different life experiences
and are a little bit different than the average college student. So when we
come here we feel a little out of place, like we don’t really quite belong.
This kind of gives that atmosphere where you belong,” said David Herman,
president of the Veterans Club.
UWSP attempts to accommodate veterans in
many different ways, like making exceptions for the Veterans Club logo. Earlier
this year the Veterans Club was denied use of their logo because it had the
silhouette of a rifle. University rules state that no logo may portray
firearms. The Veterans Club went to Al Thompson, the Vice Chancellor of Student
Affairs, and requested that an exception be made. Thompson stated that he
understood and that he wanted this to be a veteran-friendly campus. The
Veterans Club was given permission to use the logo.
UWSP works to ensure that students who are
deployed will have as easy a time as possible leaving and returning to school.
Lee stated that when soldiers are called up they are held academically and
financially harmless. The school also works to ensure that upon their return
they will be able to register in the classes they need to at the same time as their
Some veteran students believe that there is
still room for the university to improve.
“While things have gotten much better for
vets over the years, it would be nice to see our hard-earned and invaluable
knowledge be given more than just a few gym credits,” said Aaron Boodle, who
served in the Navy as a Petty Officer 3rd class.
UWSP does not grant credit for courses with
American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations at the associate
degree or lower-division baccalaureate level, for course work that is
military-specific in nature, or for military occupational specialties.
“We abide by the ACE guidelines. And we
accept upper-level baccalaureate credits. Not much of it is recommended at the
lower level, though. Another thing we do, like many campuses, is with proof of
their military training, they get a couple of credits in P.E.,” Lee said.
veteran students have rated this school on G.I. Jobs’s website, and the numbers
speak for themselves. 14 veterans rated this school based on veteran resources,
school resources, faculty, school environment and career services. Based on a
4.0 scale, the scores ranged between 3.4 and 3.7.
“My personal opinion is that the school is
does a pretty good job. When we have the GI bill, college is paid for. What’s
nice about the school is that they kind of take care of everything for you. You
say you want to come to school here using the GI bill, and you just kind of
come to class,” Herman said. “They make going to school here effortless.”