For the 7th straight year, Excelsior College, America’s largest and oldest nonprofit distance learning institution, has been bestowed the title of “top-military friendly college” by Military Advanced Education.
To earn the distinction, schools are rated on a distinct set of criteria, including tuition, scholarship and financial aid programs, advising excellence, presence on military installations, as well as acceptance of transfer credit, credit by exam and American Council on Education (ACE)-recognized military training. In addition, schools must meet specific standards on veteran support services, faculty training on veteran-specific issues, and mentorship programs, among others.
“Excelsior has a strong commitment to the needs of veterans and all military personnel, and we wear that distinction as a badge of honor,” Susan Dewan, executive director for Excelsior’s Center for Military Education.
Among the more than 37,000 currently enrolled students at Excelsior, more than 14,000 count themselves as active-duty or of veteran status. And of the more than 4,643 Excelsior graduates in the 2012-2013 academic year 34 percent were members of the U.S. military.
Just this past year, Excelsior unveiled the Lt Col Bryant A. Murray Veterans Center, a robust offering of military/veteran-centric information and resources, including financial aid and academic support, mental health and wellness services, veteran-to-veteran counseling, and even free legal and financial services.
Excelsior also has a number of strategic partnerships with military and veterans organizations (e.g. Department of Arizona, California, Nevada, New York and Vermont state VFWs) that offer reduced tuition and fees for veterans and their spouse/domestic partner.
In addition, in June 2012, Excelsior launched a quarterly webinar series for veterans, “You’re Back – What’s Next” focused on transition issues. The next event, How to Improve Your Writing, is scheduled for September 18 at 7 pm eastern.
Military Advanced Education is not the only military-focused publication to recognize Excelsior’s commitment to the armed forces. The College has also been designated a “Military-Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs four straight years and “Best for Vets” by Military Times Edge three years in a row. In addition, Edge also selected Excelsior’s Business program as a Top 5 program in 2013.
Excelsior College’s other education credentials include:
• Excelsior’s course, “Success Strategies for Military and Veterans” earned the 2010-2011 Innovation Award from the Center for Transforming Student Services (CENTSS). The course provides college and career orientation to veterans and military members and teaches transition strategies for those entering the civilian workforce after a military career.
• Excelsior is a recipient of the Council of College and Military Educators’ (CCME) Institutional Award.
• Excelsior’s military academic advising team includes veterans who are uniquely attuned to the unique needs of military students, veterans and their spouses.
• CME Executive Director Susan Dewan is the recipient of the 2011 William E. Kennedy Award from the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME), which recognizes leadership in providing higher education programs to personnel at U.S. military installations.
• Excelsior President Ebersole is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran who served in Vietnam and received the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award in 2010 for his leadership in contributing to the Army’s educational mission.