K-State is a Military Advanced Education magazine Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities honoree for the fourth year in a row.
The magazine has been honoring military-friendly colleges and universities since 2007, and K-State has been on its list each year. K-State and the other institutions receiving the honor are featured in the magazine's December issue.
It is the second military-related magazine to select K-State as a military-friendly school this year. The university also was recently named to G.I. Jobs magazine's list of most military-friendly schools.
The university's commitment to serving military members starts at the top. President Kirk Schulz led a university delegation to Iraq as a guest of the 1st Infantry Division leadership. The purpose of the trip was to continue building the university's relationship with Fort Riley.
K-State's Division of Continuing Education nominated the university for military-friendly honors from both magazines. David Stewart, assistant dean, said the division offers a variety of ways for active-duty military personnel to fit higher learning in their schedules.
"We offer Evening College courses in Manhattan for military members in the area, and we have extensive distance education programs that offer anytime, anyplace learning," Stewart said. "Military students are enrolled in K-State distance courses throughout the world, and the university has many distinguished military alumni."
In addition, K-State has active, formal partnerships with Fort Leavenworth's U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Riley's 1st Infantry Division, and the Kansas National Guard, Stewart said.
Along with courses and programs, the university offers a variety of support services for active-duty military, veterans and their families.
On-campus services include an office of veterans affairs; a designated counselor at the K-State office of student financial assistance who specializes in scholarship and financial aid opportunities for members of the military and their family members; and a special merit-based scholarship program for college-bound children and spouses of Fort Riley military personnel.
The Division of Continuing Education also provides similar services for military members, including academic counseling and tuition assistance and program coordinators for Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth. K-State also is part of the Army's GoArmyEd system, which is a virtual gateway for soldiers serving in the Army Reserves or on active duty to pursue their postsecondary educational goals.
Ruth Stanley, K-State's GoArmyEd and Centralized Tuition Assistance Management coordinator and adviser in the Division of Continuing Education, has been working with the military for 38 years. She said the services K-State provides military students do make a difference.
"They are always pleased to find someone who understands what they are talking about," Stanley said. "We listen to them, and we find the answers to their questions. We are always ready to help in any way we can. It's also why we have made our website easy to use.
"They think it is great that K-State has so many degrees available through distance education," she said.
"Because some of our soldiers are in Iraq, we try to work around the difficulties that they might have at times getting our classes. Our instructors are really great about helping them and understanding when they have problems because of location."
"Sometimes it’s very difficult for a soldier to get into the program to receive tuition assistance," Stanley said. "We work on their problems and get them fixed. They really appreciate the help."
The proximity of K-State's main campus to Fort Riley gives soldiers and their family members a special opportunity to experience a large state university environment while serving their country, said Kirk Dimond, Fort Riley coordinator for the Division of Continuing Education.
"Soldiers and family members have many options in how and when they take courses at K-State," Dimond said. "This flexibility and the high level of support student veterans receive both on campus and at a distance contribute to our designation as a military-friendly school."
Dimond also said the post-9/11 GI Bill, which began in August 2009, has greatly eased the financial hardships veterans and family members face while pursuing higher education.
"K-State participates in several programs that enhance military benefits, too," he said. "Programs such as Yellow Ribbon, military scholarships, awarding credit for military training and CLEP examinations, and in-state tuition waivers help ease the financial burden of higher education."