Tuesday, 11 November 2014 16:21

SUNY Oswego Earns Military Times 'Best for Vets' Ranking

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Service recognized -- SUNY Oswego thanks veterans on campus with the 2014 Veterans' Day Luncheon in the college's Veterans Lounge in Hewitt Union. Service recognized -- SUNY Oswego thanks veterans on campus with the 2014 Veterans' Day Luncheon in the college's Veterans Lounge in Hewitt Union. Submitted photo

Military Times has named SUNY Oswego to its "Best for Vets" colleges ranking for 2015. Owner of newsweeklies focusing on each branch of service, Military Times weighs colleges' and universities' array of services, special rules, accommodations, campus culture and financial incentives for veterans through detailed surveys and comparative national data to arrive at the ranking.

SUNY Oswego is No. 69 among 100 four-year colleges and universities on the list. Oswego is one of only two SUNY institutions on the Military Times list; Plattsburgh is the other.

"As with all Best for Vets rankings, 'Best for Vets: Colleges 2015' is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an organization a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families," Military Times said in announcing the ranking.

Ben Parker, veterans services coordinator at SUNY Oswego, said the Military Times ranking carries clout, since it weighs in detail how a college has responded to the unique issues that face veterans enrolling in college during or following military service.

"Our services and policies are aimed at student veterans, to make sure that the challenges veteran students face are dealt with and that the vets are not left with policies tailored to 18- to 22-year-old college students," he said.

Parker said he has helped many veterans cut through red tape and frustration -- the college has 130 vets enrolled this semester in undergraduate and graduate programs, both full- and part-time -- and has trained people in key departments to do likewise. The college, for example, has streamlined its guidelines for accepting military service and training for college credit, he said.

Last year in Hewitt Union, SUNY Oswego unveiled a Veterans Lounge with a refrigerator, microwave, TV, computer, printer, comfortable seating and resources to help veterans navigate campus and community life. The college annually hosts a Veterans Day luncheon to recognize those with military service, and veterans have formed a club that has become a chapter of Student Veterans of America.

Parker acknowledges more room to grow. Among the college's initiatives are developing a training program for faculty members who have veterans in class.

Military Times, now owned by Gannett Government Media, started in 1940 with Army Times and now has a range of publications. For the full "Best for Vets: Colleges 2015" rankings, visit www.militarytimes.com/bestforvets-colleges2015.

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