May 19, 2019

CSM Gets Military Friendly Designation

Military Friendly

For the fifth year in a row, College of Southern Maryland has earned the designation of a Military Friendly post-secondary school for veterans and their spouses.

The designation is determined by VIQTORY, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business in Pennsylvania. The organization honored CSM with the bronze distinction in its latest listing. Bronze distinction schools are required to score within 30 percent of the 10th best school in their categories.

“These [Bronze distinction] institutions have exceptional military/veteran programs and this award showcases their dedication,” VIQTORY said in a news release about the designation.

“Being designated as Military Friendly​ is an affirming honor that College of Southern Maryland has programs and services that align with the expectations of VIQTORY,” said CSM Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement C. Regina Bowman-Goldring. As it compiled its annual list of notable institutions, VIQTORY considered each college’s academic policies; admissions and orientation; graduation and career; financial assistance; and military student support and retention.

“CSM serves a population of over 700 veterans who use a variety of military benefits, with the majority being post 9-11,” said CSM Coordinator of Veteran Affairs Laticia Ragin. “We offer the yellow ribbon program, priority registration and also an active veterans organization and club space located on the La Plata Campus. CSM is honored to be amongst the 766 institutions selected this year with this prestigious designation of being Military Friendly and continues to seek ways to offer resources to our veterans and families.”

CSM’s veterans services also include an online veteran’s landing page, which provides a veteran student checklist to help facilitate the enrollment process for veteran students and their dependents; an online orientation for veterans and dependents that further explains the veteran student process; a Veteran Support Team that consists of veteran faculty, staff and students to talk about matters specific to veteran students and their dependents; an annual Veterans Day program that honors our veteran students and dependents; a faculty presentation providing information on classroom considerations that help with veteran student success; and specialized veteran personnel who help with the entire enrollment process and tracking of veteran students and dependents who use veteran benefits.

“The college recognizes that after eligible military service, our service men and women have many options to further their education with their eligible financial benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Military service members seek institutions that understand the unique needs of this community,” Ms. Bowman-Goldring said.

Recent CSM graduate and veteran Jerry Wade of Waldorf talked about CSM’s commitment to veterans when he was interviewed for his commencement ceremony.

“CSM was a convenient and affordable way for me to continue to do my work and earn this degree,” Mr. Wade said in the interview. “My instructors were excellent and supported me in everything I wanted to do, and all of the issues I needed to tackle. … As an Army veteran, I cannot stress enough the value that CSM provides veterans. I urge all veterans to utilize their military service experience, advance themselves at CSM and figure out how CSM can be a stepping stone to continue to grow and serve.”

Institutions that earn the Military Friendly​ School designation are evaluated with both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey.

CSM is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Maryland Higher Education Commission, which means eligible veterans, service members, and qualified dependents of veterans can receive VA educational benefits for VA-approved credit certificates and associate degrees and VA-approved workforce development programs.

First-year seminar courses are available to help veterans transition to the college experience. Concepts taught in this course that add value to the veteran experience include time management; navigating college resources; critical thinking; diversity; social and emotional intelligence; and program, progression and completion planning.

The 2019-2020 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine. The list can also be found at ​www.militaryfriendly.com​.

To learn more about CSM’s assistance to veterans, visit the college online.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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