By: Valerie Herrera
(Tom Kelt, U.S Army Retired Military Liaison for Western Tech, meeting with soldiers during Fort Bliss Education Fair.)
El Paso, TX (November 10, 2016) - Since the survey’s development eight years ago, Western Technical College has been ranked in the top 20 percent list of Military-Friendly Schools by Victory Media, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life.
Nationally recognized as being the original, trusted resource on post-military education and employment options for veterans and military, the Military Friendly® Schools brand is compiled by extensive criteria that include academic accreditations and recruiting efforts to embrace and retain student military service members who are veterans, active military, spouses, and/or dependents.
“It’s a great privilege to help those who protect our country further their education,” said Christina Gamboa, Veterans Affairs Admissions Representative.
Founded in 2001, Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, Military Spouse, Vetrepreneur®, STEM JobsSM and Military Friendly® brand magazines, is known as one of the most comprehensive, powerful resources for veterans today. Its research consists of reviewing more than 10,000 schools across the nation that are VA tuition approved institutions.
The evaluation process resulted in 1,273 Military Friendly® Schools being recognized for their support of the military community after significant technological investments enhanced the breadth of data evaluated.
According to Daniel Nichols, a Navy Reserve veteran and Chief Product Officer at Victory Media, “Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to the majority of colleges gives veterans a comprehensive view of which schools are striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation’s student veterans. Military Friendly® helps military families make the best use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other federal benefits while allowing us to further our goal of assisting them in finding success in their chosen career fields.”
Developed with the assistance from the the Academic Advisory Board (AAB), which is a Military Friendly® Advisory Council consisting of independent higher educators from schools across the country and the military recruitment community, final ratings were determined by using both Victory Media’s proprietary survey and by public data resources in effort to connect the military community to civilian employment, and educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.
By combining the institution's three data survey sources in scoring the institution's ability to meet improved methodological thresholds in terms of personal opinion data from veteran employees or students, publicly available data from federal agencies, and proprietary Military Friendly® survey data from participating organizations, candidates are held to a higher standard than the year before via improved criteria and weightings that include student retention, graduation rates, job placement, degree advancement and loan repayment rates.
Kathy Lawry, Western Tech VA certified official who has dedicated over 25 years to serving student veterans and dependents says it’s expected to see a lot of student veterans unsure of how to transition back to school when seeking interest.
“We help them apply for benefits and get them certified for school.” said Lawry. “So knowing that our efforts are being recognized is rewarding in more ways than one.”
Earlier this year Western Tech made the 2016’s Best for Vets Career and Technical Colleges list by the Military Times. With a military liaison resource office established in Fort Bliss, TX and as members of the Army Continuing Education System, Western Tech is expected to serve over 700 veterans and their dependents in the academic year.
For more information about veteran’s services at Western Tech, visit www.westerntech.edu/military-and-veterans.