University again receives Military Friendly designation for supporting veterans’ education goals

For 14th straight year, university recognized for providing the best programs, services for military-affiliated students
​Jerry Poling | March 17, 2023

According to a national organization, UW-Stout is a great place for veterans and active military members to pursue their higher education goals.

The university has again been named a Military Friendly® school, the 14th straight year, receiving a silver designation for 2023-24.

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. In the university’s new First Destination report, 100% of veterans who graduated in fall 2021 and spring 2022 were employed within six months.

Flags outside of the Memorial Student Center at UW-Stout honor fallen service members on Veterans Day 2022.
Flags outside of the Memorial Student Center at UW-Stout honor fallen service members on Veterans Day 2022. / UW-Stout

“We are committed to our tailored support and services for military-affiliated students and helping them advance their careers,” said Chris Engen, a 30-year Army veteran who is the university’s military education benefits coordinator and oversees Veteran Services.

“Our number one priority is 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, Military and Veteran Resource Center, a Council on Veteran Services and a student Veterans Club.

Chris Engen
Chris Engen, UW-Stout military education benefits coordinator and Veteran Services director / UW-Stout

An initiative launched during 2022 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.”

Last fall, UW-Stout moved up to No. 27 — top three in the UW System — among all Midwest universities in the Best Colleges for Veterans 2023 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.

UW-Stout 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.
 

UW-Stout received the Military Friendly silver designation for 2023-24.

Military Friendly® designation

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 the Military Friendly® gold, silver or bronze recognition. 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.

The Military Friendly® program “provides a benchmark that promotes positive outcomes and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the military community. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to evolve and invest in their programs consistently. Schools who achieve awards designation show true commitment in their efforts, going over and above that standard,” said Kayla Lopez, national director of Military Partnerships for Military Friendly®.

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