Shenandoah University is considered one of the best colleges to help veterans pursue a college education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, according to recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
The inaugural Best Colleges for Veterans rankings provide data and information on 234 schools across the United States that offer federal benefits, including tuition and housing assistance, to veterans and active service members. Shenandoah ranks 6th among regional universities in the South.
“At Shenandoah University we place great value on our veteran population and are indebted to them for their service to our nation and their contribution to our university community,” said President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D. “We are pleased to know that our institution has been recognized for an inclusive and positive culture that welcomes veterans.”
According to a release by U.S. News, all of the Best Colleges for Veterans scored well in terms of graduation rate, faculty resources, reputation and other markers of academic quality in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges. To qualify for the new rankings, the schools had to be certified for the GI Bill® and participate in both the Yellow Ribbon Program and the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium.
The university also holds a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to identify and educate military veterans pursuing the field of professional nursing.
Shenandoah’s project, for which more than $1.2 million in federal funding has been recommended, aims to identify and enroll veterans who received medical training and gained experience while they were in the service, and to help those individuals transition into the civilian workforce as bachelor degree-prepared nurses.
Shenandoah University expects to recruit more than 175 veterans with prior medical experience into its B.S.N. program, and to graduate approximately 80 students during the four-year project. HRSA has fully funded Shenandoah University’s project in the amount of $312,025 in the first year, and has recommended support in subsequent years of the project, for a total of $1,228,486.
Shenandoah University is an active participant in the Remembrance Day National Roll Call project, which honors American servicemen and women through name-reading events on hundreds of college and university campuses across the nation.
Shenandoah marked Veterans Day 2013 with more than 90 volunteers reading the names of more than 6,770 service members who gave their lives in service to the nation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout the day, attendees had the opportunity to write a letter to a deployed soldier, sign a banner that will hang in the Brandt Student Center, tie ribbons on a wreath and watch a slideshow of fallen service members.
The day’s closing ceremony included: an address by Lt. Col. Barry Sebring of Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA); an airplane flyover with a “Thank you Veterans” banner; the singing of the national anthem by student Julia Buhagiar; the presentation of the colors and a flag-folding ceremony by cadets from Randolph-Macon Academy; a 21-gun salute by the Winchester Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2123; and the playing of “Taps” by student James Fox.