June 9, 2023

CSM Designated as Military Friendly® School

Posted for College of Southern Maryland, Pax III

The College of Southern Maryland has been designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds.

According to Victory Media, the Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation process includes extensive research and a data-driven survey of schools nationwide approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding. The methodology used for making the Military Friendly® Schools list has changed the student veteran landscape to one much more transparent, and has played a significant role over the past six years in capturing and advancing best practices to support military students across the country. The school survey, methodology, criteria and weightings are developed with the assistance of an independent Academic Advisory Board comprised of educators from schools across the country. The survey is administered for free and open to all post-secondary schools who wish to participate. Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned business serving the military community since 2001. Criteria for consideration are at www.militaryfriendly.com.

“It is an honor for the College of Southern Maryland to be recognized with this designation for the services and support that we provide our many active duty military personnel, veterans and their families to assist them in reaching their academic and career goals,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “As one of the largest veteran-serving colleges or universities within Maryland, CSM is proud to serve more than 830 military students and their dependents each year.”

Of the more than 830 students served by the college this year, more than 50 are active duty military members. CSM supports its veteran community in several ways, according to Chris Zimmermann, director of the college’s financial assistance department which oversees its veteran affairs office.  The college is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Maryland Higher Education Commission, so that eligible veterans, servicepersons and certain dependents of veterans can receive VA educational benefits for credit certificate and associate degree programs as well as some Workforce Development programs.

Additionally, the college has designed first-year seminars and courses specifically for veterans, taught by a veteran, to help newly separated or transitioning veterans prepare for and adjust to the college experience. Such courses actively engage students through group discussions and presentations, and students learn skills such as time management, research planning and critical thinking that will benefit them in future college classes.

Upcoming in the spring semester at the La Plata and Leonardtown campuses will be ENG-2970, a writing workshop that will be led by veterans and published writers Ron Capps and CSM Professor Wayne Karlin to provide veterans, active duty members and family members with the support, encouragement and skills to tell and develop their stories through fiction or non-fiction.

Outside the classroom, CSM’s outreach includes a 15 percent discount of tuition for individual fitness and pool memberships for veterans and an active student veterans’ organization.  CSM’s student veterans’ organization is a chapter of Student Veterans Association, a non-profit coalition of more than 700 student veteran organizations on college campuses globally with a mission to provide military veterans with the resources, support and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation. The organization is an inclusive, non-partisan group that supports all CSM student veterans and their dependents associated with all branches of the uniformed military services.

The college is involved in and supports community partnerships and events such as the Annual Veterans Day Parade in Leonardtown or sponsoring Annmarie Garden’s Military Night to provide free admission for active duty military personnel and their immediate family during its annual Garden in Lights.

For information, visit www.csmd.edu.

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