For veterans and active military members, University of Wisconsin-Stout is a great place to get an education, according to a national organization.
The university has been named a Military Friendly® school for 2022-2023, moving up two levels to a silver designation in this year’s ranking, which was announced recently.
A total of 665 four- and two-year U.S. universities and colleges, about one-third of close to 1,800 that were surveyed, received gold, silver or bronze recognition. Previously UW-Stout received the designation but not at one of the top three levels. Ranking criteria include retention, graduation, employment and loan default rates among students, especially veterans.
The list of Military Friendly® schools, developed by the veteran-owned business VIQTORY, can be found online and will be published in the May and October issues of G.I. Jobs magazine.
UW-Stout has approximately 450 military-affiliated students, who include veterans, current members of the U.S. military (active and reserve) and eligible family members.
“We are excited about the continued advancement of our tailored support and services for military-affiliated students,” said Chris Engen, a 30-year Army veteran who is the university’s military education benefits coordinator and oversees Veteran Services
"We are committed to enabling their success from admission to graduation and beyond through personalized service.”
Special programs at UW-Stout include a peer-to-peer Veteran Mentorship Program, a Military and Veteran Resource Center, a Council on Veteran Services and a student Veterans Club.
A new initiative is an online course, Military Benefits 101, for first-year and transfer students who are military-affiliated. The course provides an overview of military education benefits along with information about support and services available at UW-Stout.
“Our efforts and initiatives consider and incorporate the perspectives and experiences of our veterans, those currently serving and their family members,” Engen said. “We want to continue to create maximum opportunities for these students to achieve their goals.”
According to VIQTORY, the Military Friendly® program “creates civilian opportunities for veterans. By setting a standard, promoting it and raising the bar over time, it provides long-term, positive reinforcement for American organizations to invest in programs that improve the lives of veterans. It’s about creating demand for veterans in the private sector.”
UW-Stout also is part of the Northwoods Battalion Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps with UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls. UW-Stout offers a minor in military leadership.
Last fall, UW-Stout moved up 18 places to No. 30 among all Midwest universities in the Best Colleges for Veterans 2022 ranking by U.S. News & World Report. The university also has been recognized in recent years as a Best for Vets school by Military Times.