CSM Designated as a Military Friendly® School

College Serves More Than 830 Military Students, Dependents Each Year

 The College of Southern Maryland has been designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds.

“It is an honor for the College of Southern Maryland to be recognized with this designation for the services and support that we provide our many active duty military personnel, veterans and their families to assist them in reaching their academic and career goals,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “As one of the largest veteran-serving colleges or universities within Maryland, CSM is proud to serve more than 830 military students and their dependents each year.”

According to Victory Media, the Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

Of the more than 830 students served by the college this year, more than 50 are active duty military members. CSM supports its veteran community in several ways, according to Chris Zimmermann, director of the college’s financial assistance department which oversees its veteran affairs office.

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.

Additionally the college has designed first-year seminars and courses specifically for veterans, taught by a veteran, to help newly separated or transitioning veterans prepare for and adjust to the college experience. Such courses actively engage students through group discussions and presentations, and students learn skills such as time management, research planning and critical thinking that will benefit them in future college classes.

Upcoming in the spring semester at the La Plata and Leonardtown campuses will be ENG-2970, a writing workshop that will be led by veterans and published writers Ron Capps and CSM Professor Wayne Karlin to provide veterans, active duty members and family members with the support, encouragement and skills to tell and develop their stories through fiction or non-fiction. For information on veterans-only classes, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Current/Veterans/veteranonlyclasses.htm.

CSM also offers a 15 percent discount of tuition for individual fitness and pool memberships for veterans. Details are available at http://www.csmd.edu/CommunityEducation/WFR/Fitness/memberships.html

CSM’s outreach includes an active student veterans’ organization, which is a chapter of Student Veterans Association, a non-profit coalition of more than 700 student veteran organizations on college campuses globally with a mission to provide military veterans with the resources, support and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation. The organization is an inclusive, non-partisan group that supports all CSM student veterans and their dependents associated with all branches of the uniformed military services.

The college is involved in and supports community partnerships and events such as the Annual Veterans Day Parade in Leonardtown or sponsoring Annmarie Garden’s Military Night to provide free admission for active duty military personnel and their immediate family during its annual Garden in Lights.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation process includes extensive research and a data-driven survey of schools nationwide approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding. The methodology used for making the Military Friendly® Schools list has changed the student veteran landscape to one much more transparent, and has played a significant role over the past six years in capturing and advancing best practices to support military students across the country. The school survey, methodology, criteria and weightings are developed with the assistance of an independent Academic Advisory Board comprised of educators from schools across the country. The survey is administered for free and open to all post-secondary schools who wish to participate. Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned business serving the military community since 2001. Criteria for consideration are at www.militaryfriendly.com.

For information on veteran benefits and programs at CSM, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Current/Veterans/. For a complete listing of VA approved programs within CSM’s continuing education visit http://www.csmd.edu/Current/Veterans/EligiblePrograms.html.  For information on the student veterans’ organization, visit http://www.csmd.edu/pub/moroney/veteransclub/.



CSM Connections Literary Series: Doug Anderson. 7:30 p.m., Nov. 7. College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, Building A, Auditorium, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. Poet Doug Anderson will be reading selections from his poetry collections, “The Moon Reflected Fire” and “Blues for Unemployed Secret Police.” As a former Navy corpsman, much of his work is inspired by his time spent in Vietnam. $3 in advance, $5 at the event, $3 with a CSM student ID. CSM has been designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School. Connections@csmd.edu, 301-934-7864, http://www.csmd.edu/connections/.


CSM Student Veteran Organization Screening of “Riding My Way Back.” 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11; 6 p.m., Nov. 13; 6 p.m., Nov. 18. The Greenwell Foundation (www.greenwellfoundation.org) and CSM’s student Veterans Organization are sponsoring three free screenings of the award-winning film “Riding My Way Back,” a story of a veteran, a horse and hope. The short documentary about the powerful healing of therapeutic riding for a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury will be screened at the La Plata Campus beginning at 10:30 a.m., Nov. 11, Center for Business and Industry, BI Building, Room BI-113, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata, the Leonardtown Campus beginning at 6 p.m., Nov. 13, A Building, Auditorium, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, and at the Prince Frederick Campus, 6 p.m., Nov. 18, Building B, Multipurpose Room, 115 J.W. Williams Road, Prince Frederick. All screenings are free to the public. CSM has been designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School. http://www.csmd.edu/Current/Veterans/


CSM Students Walk in Veterans Day Parade. 10 a.m., Nov. 11. Town of Leonardtown. College of Southern Maryland veteran students will be walking in the annual Veterans Day Parade sponsored by the Commissioners of Leonardtown and the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. on Fenwick Street and concludes with a memorial ceremony on the Town Square. In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be cancelled, and the ceremony will be moved to the Leonard Hall Recreation Center Gymnasium, on Route 245 adjacent to the St. Mary’s County Governmental Center Complex (23145 Leonard Hall Drive) at 11 a.m. CSM students who would like to walk in the parade with the CSM Veterans Organization should contact CSM Professor Wayne Karlin, waynek@csmd.edu for details. CSM has been designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School. http://www.csmd.edu/Current/Veterans/.


Annmarie Garden in Lights CSM sponsored Military Night. 6-9 p.m., Dec. 16. 13480 Dowell Road, Dowell, Md. 20629. Free admission on Military Night is sponsored by the College of Southern Maryland for any active military personnel and their immediate family to Annmarie Garden in Lights, a Solomons tradition for more than 20 years. This walk-through light sculpture displays one-of-a-kind works, and the evening will feature the COSMIC Flute Choir, a group of 6 to 10 flutist, performing specially written and arranged carols and songs in the Murray Arts Building as well as the 7th Annual Ornament Show & Sale featuring a variety of ornaments made by local artists. To gain free admission, active military personnel and their immediate family must present a valid ID. The free-admission evening is sponsored by CSM, which has been designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School. http://www.csmd.edu/Current/Veterans/