The College of Southern Maryland has received the 2017 Military Friendly® School designation from Victory Media for the third year in a row. Military Friendly schools are top-tier educational institutions that provide the best opportunities for military service members and their spouses.
“CSM is proud to once again be recognized for the support and services we offer for active-duty military and veterans and their families in the community,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “The college makes it a priority to help these veterans reach their academic and career goals as they transition into civilian life.”
Just a day before the award was announced on Nov. 10, Gottfried spoke at a Veterans Day celebration breakfast at the La Plata Campus, where CSM's active-duty military and student veterans, faculty and staff were honored for their contributions to the nation through their service in the armed forces.
Gottfried emphasized the college's commitment to veterans, noting that CSM is one of the largest providers of educational services for current and former service members and their families in Maryland. Military/veteran students represent 10 percent of CSM's total enrollment.
The college is approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Maryland Higher Education Commission, which allows eligible veterans, service members and certain dependents to receive VA educational benefits for credit certificate and associate degree programs. CSM's outreach includes the CSM Student Veterans Organization and a lounge where student veterans can gather to study and socialize.
Gottfried also noted the college's hiring of additional veterans affairs coordinators to advise students. Those interested in meeting with a coordinator at the campuses in La Plata, Leonardtown and Prince Frederick can call to make appointments, but time also has been set aside for walk-ins three days a week.
Bill Buffington, one of the founders of CSM's Student Veterans Organization and who spoke at the Veterans Day breakfast Nov. 9, said the college has been “a great supporter” of the veterans as they transition back into the classroom. “CSM gives the veterans a great sense of community,” Buffington said.
The Military Friendly® School designation comes from Victory Media which surveys thousands of institutions and assembles information that is provided to service members and their families, helping them select the best college where they can receive the education and training needed to pursue a career in the civilian workforce.
According to Daniel Nichols, a Navy Reserve veteran and chief product officer at Victory Media, “Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to the majority of colleges gives veterans a comprehensive view of which schools are striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation's student veterans. Military Friendly® helps military families make the best use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other federal benefits while allowing us to further our goal of assisting them in finding success in their chosen career fields.”
For more information, visit https://MilitaryFriendly.com.
For information on Veteran and Military Support Services, visit http://www.csmd.edu/student-services/veteran-military-support-services/.