The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) has been recognized as a top post-secondary school for veterans and their spouses for the sixth consecutive evaluation period. CSM was also among 13 community colleges in the United States to be honored with the bronze distinction in the latest listing determined by VIQTORY, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. A bronze distinction school must score within 30 percent of the 10th best school in its category.
Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation are evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,200 schools nation-wide participated in the 2021-2022 survey with 747 earning the designation. In Maryland, CSM was among 13 higher education institutions – four of which were community colleges – to earn the title Military Friendly® School, and the only Maryland college to earn bronze status.
“CSM is grateful for the men and women who have served, and who continue to serve, in the armed forces and we lean in every day to assist our student veterans and their families with transitioning their careers,” said CSM Veteran Affairs (VA) Coordinator Laticia Ragin. Ragin reported that CSM serves a large military population in Southern Maryland due to its central campus locations near numerous military bases and installations.
“It’s such a great honor to be recognized with this designation,” said Ragin. “The CSM VA team takes great pride in staying abreast of VA updates and changes, and assisting our student veterans with obtaining their military educational benefits.”
Along with CSM’s Student Veterans Association and Student Life, Ragin also helped to create a commemorative Veterans Recognition coin for all veterans who attend CSM when Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared 2019 “The Year of the Veteran.” (See: Thank You Veterans)
“Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data driven standards in our designation process,” said Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly®. “This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to consistently evolve and invest in their programs. Schools who achieve designation show true commitment and dedication in their efforts. Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources, and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the military community.”
CSM’s commitment to veterans is reflected in numerous ways. 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. First-year seminar courses are available to assist veterans in transitioning to the college experience. Concepts taught in this course that add value to the veteran experience are time management; critical thinking; navigating college resources; diversity; social and emotional intelligence; and program, progression and completion planning.
To learn more about CSM’s assistance to veterans, visit www.csmd.edu/student-services/veteran-military-support-services/.
About Military Friendly® Schools: The 2021-2022 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.
Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey response set and government/agency public data sources, within a logic-based scoring assessment. The advisory council measured the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, degree advancement or transfer and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.