G.I. Jobs once again names MU 'Military Friendly' institution

This is the fourth consecutive year the university has earned this honor from G.I. Jobs.
The MU Veteran's Center is a place for students, faculty and staff that are veterans or service members. It can be found at N-5 Memorial Union.

Veterans Center Director Carol Fleisher said this is the fourth year in a row G.I. Jobs magazine has listed the university as a “Military Friendly School.”

According to the website, the list contains about 1,000 schools in the nation that represent the 15 percent that are most military-friendly. The list is compiled by research findings in categories including financial and non-financial efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students and the schools' success in recruiting these students.

Fleisher said in 2007 the chancellor put together a veteran-friendly task force to make the university more accessible to the group. She was one of the three chairpersons of this task force. After discussion, the task force came up with a 42-page proposal.

“We tried to look at what other militarily-friendly schools were doing,” Fleisher said. “We looked for best practices and found that there were only two other schools who had a free-standing, full-service veterans center.”

These schools are Pennsylvania State University and the University of Mississippi.

Fleisher said most schools have the person who does veterans work embedded in admissions or financial aid, and working with veterans is only one part of their job. They are oftentimes unable to give the time and service necessary to do the job effectively, she said.

“Anything the veteran needs, we attend to,” she said of the center.

Fleisher said the center does everything from assisting with admissions to housing or counseling services. She said they also communicate with point people throughout the university as needed.

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time we call an office,” she said.

Travis McCartney, Veterans Center assistant and Secretary of Mizzou Student Veterans Association, describes the Veterans Center as a one-stop shop for any veteran or dependent.

“We can help you right away,” he said. “We don’t have to have an appointment.”

McCartney said MSVA was founded for veterans to have a group after they get out of active duty as they often have very different experiences from typical college students.

“I’ve never been in active duty outside of training, but I’m a completely different person because of it,” he said

McCartney also pointed out that the free tutoring offered to veterans is a huge asset, because it helps fill in the gaps formed between high school and college.

“We have a veterans-only class for them that helps jump-start them through school,” Fleisher said.

The center also works to make the transition to MU easier for veterans, she said.

“If a veteran emails us and says, 'I’m in Iraq, and I’m thinking about coming to MU,' I send them a letter or our adviser Dawn Copeland sends a letter,” Fleisher said. “Then we ask someone who was in the same military branch to contact them as well, and his lets the serviceman make a connection before he or she actually arrives.”

Accommodations such as these put MU on the map in terms of veteran treatment, Fleisher said.

“That definitely puts us on anyone’s military-friendly list,” she said.

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