UCO Recognized as “Military-Friendly School”
Due to the University of Central Oklahoma’s vigilance in providing veterans and their families education, support, and opportunity, the university has once again been dubbed a military friendly school. This is the fifth year in a row that UCO has been recognized. (Photo provided by Pixabay.)
The University of Central Oklahoma has been again recognized as a military-friendly school, where veterans and their families are given the opportunity to receive education and support.
The list aims to help military service members and their families select the best college or university for veteran support. Schools on the list have shown the student veteran support needed to pursue a professional career, according to Victory Media’s website.
“It’s not our goal to seek higher rankings. [These rankings] are just a validation of the work that we are trying to do. Our goal is just to continue to improve services for student veterans,” said Kennan Horn, director of Student Support Services SALUTE program and Veteran Student Support at Central.
The “Military Friendly” recognition was received after UCO placed as the only Oklahoma school listed as “Bets for Vets” on the Military Times.
Horn said the recognition is great for UCO and also leads veterans in the community to start thinking about school again.
“It gives us an opportunity to open a dialogue with veterans and explain to them how we are going to help them succeed … Our goal is just to do well by our student vets. The recognition comes as a byproduct of that. And then in the end, it helps us get more vets that we can provide services for,” Horn said.
John Garner, a veteran and senior student at UCO, said the school played a tremendous impact on his desire to receive a bachelor’s degree.
During Gardner’s freshman year, his professor helped him get through some personal issues, including depression. He didn’t tell the professor he had depression, but the professor soon noticed it and asked him to get help, he said.
“It’s hard enough coming back, especially veterans who are dealing with PTSD and stuff like that. It’s a whole different challenge to go in to school. [UCO has] a lot of good programs and a place for veterans to hang out over there in the library … It’s great, but there’s always room for improvement,” Garner said.
Garner believes that at bigger universities, support might not be available because professors aren’t able to pay close attention to all students in class.
According to Horn, the benefits veterans receive is usually given back to the community in tax dollars, as well as through several other ways.
“These were special groups of folks that earned this benefit. It’s not given to them; they earned it … Veterans are a great investment in putting an educated work force back in the community. For the overall community, supporting veterans is a very good thing,” Horn said.
To learn more about 2017’s military-friendly schools, visit: militaryfriendly.com.