Former U.S. Marine Charlie Ryan, seen here conducting research in a spectroscopy lab, is among several veteran students pursuing a college degree at Georgian Court University. GCU was recently named a Military-Friendly School.
Georgian Court University has been designated a 2016 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds, and publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM JOBS, and Military Spouse. Now in its seventh year, the original, premier Military Friendly® Schools designation provides service members and their families with transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities.
“It is an honor to be named a 2016 Military Friendly® School and a privilege to serve our veteran students,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. “Last year, when we launched the Georgian Court Student Veterans Resource Project, our faculty and staff emphasized GCU’s commitment to providing academic, social, and student services support for our student veterans, service members, and their beneficiaries. Our commitment to ensuring their success—in college and in their careers after they leave GCU—is just as strong today.” About 31 students take advantage of veterans services on GCU’s campus.
Institutions competed for the elite Military Friendly® School title by completing a survey of over 100 questions covering 10 categories, including military support on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, and military spouse policies. Survey responses were scored against benchmarks across these key indicators of success. In addition, data was independently tested by Ernst & Young based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media and an independent advisory board of higher education and recruiting professionals.
The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges, and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students. The methodology used for making the Military Friendly® Schools list has changed the student veteran landscape to one that is much more transparent, and it has played a significant role over the past seven years in capturing and advancing best practices to support military students across the country.
Military Experience Makes a Difference
For veteran students like GCU chemistry major Charlie Ryan, having consistent support from the university is very important.
“I sustained multiple injuries during my time in the military,” said Charlie, a former Marine who served in Afghanistan. “I spent several years rehabilitating, but unfortunately my final prescription was a major lifestyle change. My education here at GCU is giving me an opportunity to apply my mind and pursue a new career in chemistry.”
Just as he benefits from the classes, faculty mentoring, and research opportunities at the university, many of his GCU peers also benefit from the perspective Charlie brings to the classroom.
“My experiences have provided some perspective on the importance of knowledge and education,” he said. “Having seen places in the world many other people will never have the opportunity to see, I have a greater appreciation for the pursuit of education. This has helped me to keep focused, and my training has helped me to be a more prepared and organized student than I otherwise would have been.”
Charlie is also active with GCU’s student veterans group. Last year, they worked with the GCU Office of Institutional Advancement and an anonymous donor to establish the Georgian Court University Military Veterans Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship provides tuition support to veterans with a special focus on those who were injured during their service. GCU also opened a small, but inviting, Veterans Lounge to give veteran students a place to meet, talk, or simply grab a cup of coffee between classes. Some veteran students contribute to GCU’s very active, public Facebook group where they share information about upcoming campus events.
“Postsecondary institutions earning the 2016 Military Friendly® School award have exceptionally strong programs for transitioning service members and spouses,” said Daniel Nichols, chief product officer of Victory Media and Navy Reserve veteran. “They are truly aligning their military programs and services with employers to help students translate military experience, skills, and training into successful careers after graduation.”
To learn more about services and programs available to veteran students at GCU, including the Yellow Ribbon Program, call 732-987-2680.
About Military Friendly® Schools
The Military Friendly® Schools designation process includes extensive research and a data-driven survey of thousands of schools nationwide approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding. The school survey, methodology, criteria and weightings are developed with the assistance of an independent Advisory Board comprised of educators and HR, diversity and recruitment professionals from schools across the country. The survey is administered for free and open to all post-secondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at https://www.militaryfriendly.com.
About Victory Media
Based in Pittsburgh, Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects classrooms to careers for the nation’s next generation of professionals. Our data- driven ratings are published in G.I. Jobs®, Military Spouse, Vetrepreneur®, and STEM JobsSM media, and featured in national media including USA Today, Wall Street Journal, FORTUNE, Bloomberg, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and others. Learn more about their media, training and ratings solutions at victorymedia.com, and follow the organization on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.