SARATOGA SPRINGS - Military Times, a publication of Gannett Govern-ment Media, has named SUNY Empire State College to its "Best for Vets: Colleges 2014," rankings. The college is highlighted in the online and nontraditional category.
"Inclusion in Military Times' rankings reflects the hard work and success of the students, faculty and staff of Empire State College," said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. "Educating and supporting veterans is more than just a point of great pride. For us, this is an honor and a privilege and the college's way of expressing its appreciation to these students."
This honor noted several specific features of the college including:
Its low in-state undergraduate and graduate tuition and its waiving of most fees for veterans and active-duty military
The award-winning Office of Veteran and Military Education
Its low student-faculty ratio and strong support staff
The college's acceptance of academic credit for military training recommended by the American Council on Education.
"Empire State College's strengths with nontraditional students and two decades of experience in online education, which characterizes many veterans, active-duty members of the military, and how they learn, are just two examples of why the college was chosen for Best for Vets and to play a leading role in the access, completion and success agenda of Open SUNY," said Hancock.
Recognition of the college's success educating veterans is not unprecedented. Last year, the college's MBA program was named among the top 25 in the first-ever Best for Vets: Business Schools survey by Military Times magazine.
In addition to strengths listed by Military Times, the college supports veterans and members of the military community through:
Education partnerships with all branches of the military
Credit Where Credit is Due: Veteran and Service Member Pathway to the MBA
Graduate Certificate in Veterans Services
Student Veterans and Military Club.
"As with all of the Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets: Colleges is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an institution a good fit for military veterans," said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times.
"The transition from active duty to civilian life is significant," said Hancock. "Empire State College veteran and active-duty students tell us that college's effectiveness in online learning, complete student services available through our Office of Veteran and Military Education and specific course and degree offerings help them to succeed."
Two of the college's online bachelor's programs were recently selected for inclusion in Open SUNY because they meet New York's workforce needs and expand access, completion and success for students.
Open SUNY is the systemwide effort designed to maximize online-enabled learning opportunities for all SUNY students.
About Best for Vets
Best for Vets provides service men and women a gauge to help determine if a school or degree program will benefit them. The rankings factored in service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill and availability of specific programs to help service members.
The extensive evaluation process also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates and student-faculty ratio.
About Military Times
The Military Times newsweeklies and digital platforms are the source for news and information for service members and their families, providing information about payroll, benefits, finance, education, health care, recreational resources, retirement, promotions, product reviews and entertainment. For more information, visit www.militarytimes.com.
About SUNY Empire State College
SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor's and master's degrees from the State University of New York.
In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.
The college serves 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in the state of New York and online. Its 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.