DENVER - When U.S. service women and men come home from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, they'll know where they can go for a great education: the University of Colorado Denver.
For the second year in a row, the University of Colorado Denver has earned a spot on the G.I. Jobs "Military Friendly Schools® List," putting it among the top 15 percent of 7,000 institutions nationwide for its high-value education and welcoming environment for veterans.
"I am incredibly proud of the innovative and sensitive work of our Office of Veteran Student Services, and we are honored to receive this important recognition as a military-friendly institution," said Raul Cardenas, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
The university has more than 700 students with military connections—whom it supports with employment help, transition and redeployment assistance, counseling referrals and educational benefit certification.
"The Military Friendly School award shows that creating the Office of Veteran Student Services was an extremely positive step for the University of Colorado Denver in our mission to ensure that we do everything possible to ease the transition from the military to college," said Cameron Cook, Veteran Student Services Manager. "We are being proactive in taking care of this rapidly expanding population," Cook said.
Since Cook assumed his position at the university in February 2010, the number of students connected to the military has doubled. His recruiting efforts include visits to military bases and veterans' organizations.
The Military Friendly Schools List includes criteria concerning not only active-duty students, but also Reservist, National Guard and dependent (spouse or child) students. About 10 to 15 percent of the university's military students are active-duty, Reservist or National Guard, Cook said.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs predicts veteran student populations will triple over the next three years, and according to G.I. Jobs, colleges and universities stand to benefit in a variety of ways from enrolling these students. The Post 9/11 GI Bill offers financial help to veterans seeking higher education, which results in billions of dollars available for tuition.
Beyond the bottom line, universities stand to gain high-quality students with a high degree of maturity, much life experience and a strong sense of responsibility. The university continues its efforts to attract and retain these students through tuition incentives, veteran service credit and a flexible learning environment.
"The women and men who serve our country deserve an educational experience that meets their unique needs," said Vice Chancellor Cardenas.
The University of Colorado Denver provides a diverse body of students with opportunities to enhance their lives, careers and research. Located on the Denver Campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., the university offers more than 130 programs in 13 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional health levels. For more information, visit the university's newsroom.