Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director Department of Public Relations (904) 620-2102
Department of Public Relations
The University of North Florida was named a 2013 Military Friendly School by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. This is the fourth consecutive year UNF has earned this ranking.
The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. The 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.
“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools ® shows the University of North Florida’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media.
This latest recognition comes on the heels of UNF receiving 16 other national designations, including Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s List of 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2011-12; No. 19 Best Buy College, Best College in America (2012 and 2011) and Best College in the South, all by Forbes Magazine; 2012 Best Value Public College, Best College in the Southeast (2012 and 2013), 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, 2011 Best Value Public College and a top “Green” College by Princeton Review in 2011 and 2012; Best Regional University by U.S. News & World Report (2012 and 2011), Military Friendly School and among the100 “Coolest Schools” by Sierra magazine.
Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools ® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. The survey tabulation process, methodology and weightings that comprise the 2013 list were independently verified by Ernst and Young LLP. 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.
In 2009, UNF established a Task Force and received a grant for more than $200,000 from the Florida Braive Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, which allowed the University to establish the Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) on campus. With renovated spaces, the Center opened its doors in August 2010, with approximately 180 student veterans graduating each of the last two years.
“For the last two years, the Military and Veterans Resource Center at UNF has expanded its capability to serve an ever increasing number of veterans using benefits offered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill,” said Ray Wikstrom, director of the UNF MVRC. “With the recent Pentagon announcement of reducing the armed forces by 140,000 members over the next two years, UNF expects many of these heroes returning from the wars overseas to seek education to improve their employment opportunities in this current economic climate. As a result, the MVRC is seeking to further expand its efforts to meet this demand.”
The Center’s mission is to provide a broad range of student services and resources focused on the unique needs of today’s military veterans, service members and their families in order to enhance their smooth transition from the military environment to campus life, leading to academic success, graduation and employment opportunities. The Center offers extended hours and is actively seeking additional scholarships, grants and employment opportunities to foster a mutually-beneficial partnership with the business community to increase networking and services for career exploration.
Additionally, UNF started offering the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp, an educational program of leadership and military skills training, on campus in 2009. The UNF program, called “The Fighting Osprey Company,” gives students a chance to get Army training while in college.
Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business founded in 2001. Victory’s free, data-driven, Military Friendly ® lists can be found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com and www.militaryfranchising.com. Victory’s lists are also published in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur magazines.
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