For years, Missouri Western State University has dedicated various resources towards military-based programs and the assistance of students involved with military life. To reward the university's commitment, Missouri Western has been granted the prestigious honor of joining the 2021-2022 Military Friendly Schools list.
Over 1,200 schools submitted for the honor; however, only 747 of them were granted the designation on the list. The University also earned a Gold Distinction, further distinguishing Missouri Western’s dedication from other colleges.
Director of Missouri Western's Center for Military and Veterans Services, Joe Midgley, commented on behalf of the school.
"Missouri Western is here to help all of our military-connected students," Midgley said. "[The award] shows that throughout the time Missouri Western has been here, they've done a lot in different departments and then brought [The Center for Military and Veterans Services] together."
To determine award designees, the organization, Viqtory, sorts through information regarding the number of military families that make up a student body, their graduation rates, how well colleges do in assisting with job placement, financial aid opportunities, how cost-effective the college is, and what programs are offered and available for veterans, among other variables. This analysis ensures that the award remains a prestigious, competitive honor, giving further significance to Missouri Western's dedication.
"Our new goal is to get to the top ten," Midgley continued. "But to start off as the gold status is great and just shows how much people here have done."
According to https://www.militaryfriendly.com/ the gold award status is given out to colleges and universities “for their leading practices, outcomes, and effective programs.”
Kayla Lopez, national director of Military Partnerships for Military Friendly, stated on the website the goals and values of their organization.
“Military Friendly is committed to transparency and providing consistent data driven standards in our designation process, this creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to consistently evolve and invest in their programs,” Lopez said. “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.”
Sydney Hosman is a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corp at Missouri Western and shared her thoughts on the award.
“As a participant in the ROTC program, the knowledge that Missouri Western has been recognized for their focus on military affairs is very beneficial, and gives me confidence in the center’s decision making.”
Despite receiving the gold award the university continues to look for ways it can continue to best serve its military involved students in their needs throughout their education. For more information about Missouri Western's student veteran programs, students can visit the Center for Military and Veterans Services in Eder 202 or visit missouriwestern.edu/military/.