Southwestern Illinois College has been named a 2014 Military Friendly School® by Victory Media, the leading media group for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. SWIC has been placed in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to serve America's military service members, veterans and dependents as students and to ensure their success on campus. This award comes following the college's 2013 Governor's Award for Excellence in Veterans Education.
"We are proud to serve the largest student veteran population of any public institution in Illinois," said President Georgia Costello, Ph.D. "Supporting veterans and military families is one of our top priorities. Not only do we assist veterans and their dependents with obtaining federal and state education benefits, we offer additional support for long-term success."
Among many outstanding attributes, SWIC was recognized for its:
- Veteran-to-Veteran Tutoring program - specifically designed to support the academic achievement of student veterans by connecting tutors with pupils in the common core subjects with plans underway to expand the program to include veteran study group sessions;
- Veteran New Student Orientation program - assists veterans in their transition to the student community by providing an overview of college programs, services and activities, introducing them to all the college staff that assist with veteran services, integrating them with the general student veteran population through workshop sessions, and fostering camaraderie and relationship-building through small group dynamics;
- Annual Veteran Job Fair - attracts more than 100 employers and assists student veterans and veteran alumni in securing employment and advancement opportunities.
According to Victory Media, the colleges, universities and trade schools on this year's list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.
Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® was compiled through a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators from schools across the country.
For more information about veterans services offered at Southwestern Illinois College, call 618-235-2700, ext. 5226.