Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency ranking helps vets choose the right colleges
MUSKEGON, Mich. – Baker College has been recognized with a gold ranking for the second year in a row by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency’s (MVAA) Veteran-Friendly School Program.
“American veterans deserve the opportunity to pursue their academic goals, and that means educators must ‘give their all’ to help them succeed,” said Bart Daig, Ph.D., Baker College System president and CEO. “Baker College has long understood the many challenges faced by returning and active-duty military personnel and we are proud to routinely go the extra mile for our veterans.”
In its second year, the MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly School Program recognizes Michigan colleges and universities for their commitment to veterans and their dependents attending school under the GI Bill. Rankings are assessed based on how well each institution fulfills the following seven criteria:
- An established process for identification of current student veterans.
- A veteran-specific website.
- An active student-operated veterans club or association.
- Veteran-specific career services, resources, advising and/or outcome monitoring.
- An on-campus veteran’s coordinator and/or designated staff point of contact.
- A system to evaluate and award credit based on prior military training and experience.
- Monitoring and evaluation of student veteran academic retention, transfer and graduation rates.
Schools must apply for the Veteran-Friendly designation each year and are ranked at the bronze level for completing three criteria, the silver level for completing four criteria and the gold level for completing six or more criteria. In 2016, Baker College was one of just 31 schools that met all seven criteria.
For student veterans, the many services provided by Baker College truly make the transition to civilian life easier and help active-duty students smoothly pick up where they left off. James Robertson, a disabled veteran, not only received academic assistance, but help with VA benefits and other challenges as well.
“The veteran services at Baker College helped me get my VA benefits, putting me in touch with vocational rehabilitation resources, providing assistance with job hunting and everything else I could possibly need,” said Robertson. “They really went over and above to help me get benefits I thought I’d never get. Because of them I’m on my way to a new degree and I have health care for my service-connected disability!”
Robertson, of Grand Blanc, has a young son and is attending Baker College’s Flint campus part time. He expects to graduate in 2019-20 with a bachelor’s degree in cyber defense.
In addition to recognition by the MVAA, Baker College has been designated a ‘Top Military Friendly College’ five consecutive times by the journal Military Advanced Education; ranked in the top 20 online/nontraditional schools in the annual ‘Best for Vets’ listing by Military Times; is a member of the Council of College and Military Educators; and participates in the Michigan Veteran Education Initiative, a partnership between MVAA and the Michigan College Access Network, that places veteran resource representatives on campuses to provide students one-on-one support.
Baker College strongly believes in the Principles of Excellence as outlined in Executive Order 13607 in serving all military connected students by being an active participant of GoArmyEd and the Community College of the Air Force’s Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative (CCAF’s AU-ABC) Program. The college is a proud signer of the U.S. Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding (DOD MOU) for participation in the military tuition assistance program and is eligible to receive federal military and veteran education benefits.
The MVAA serves as the coordinating point for Michigan veterans, connecting those who served in the U.S. armed forces, and their families, to services and benefits throughout the state.
The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1911, Baker College grants doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as certificates in diverse academic fields including business, health sciences, engineering, information technology, education and human services. Baker College has on-ground campuses in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and offers online programs that can be completed 100 percent online without ever visiting a campus. In 2016, the Online Learning Consortium recognized Baker College Online with the OLC Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement, the highest ranking for online higher education programs. For information, visit www.baker.edu or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bakercollege.