UMass Dartmouth has been named a Military Friendly School for the year 2015 by Victory Media Inc., which recognizes schools that have gone above and beyond to provide transitioning veterans the best possible experience in higher education. UMass Dartmouth is one of 37 higher education institutions in Massachusetts named to the list.
"We are very proud to earn this status as we continue to strive to fulfill our 'Veteran-Friendly' vision to recognize our veterans, facilitate connections among them, advocate for them, and educate our campus community on the unique strengths and challenges they bring to campus," said Chancellor Divina Grossman. "We will continue to build upon these efforts in order to provide the academic, social, and health services our Veterans need and deserve."
Among the ongoing initiatives to fulfill the University's "Veteran-Friendly" vision are enhanced orientation and peer mentoring for new and transfer student veterans, making available full-time mental health professionals trained in veteran-specific mental health concerns, and providing veteran support information on the University's website.
UMass Dartmouth is a signatory to the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding. Its Student Veteran Association (est. 2012) is recognized as an official student organization and is an official chapter of Student Veterans of America. UMass Dartmouth has also implemented an activation or deployment policy in the form of the "Military Activation Leave of Absence", and offers an ROTC program through a Providence College affiliation.
UMass Dartmouth's Counseling Center, Student Affairs staff, and the faculty are continuing to review and implement new ways to support veterans.
"Earning this designation is an important signal to Veterans that UMass Dartmouth is committed to our success as students and health and support as men and women," said UMass Dartmouth Student Veteran Association President Ryan Arsenault. "While many Veterans seek camaraderie and support among themselves, it is pivotal they know they are within an environment such as UMass Dartmouth, that shows support for their academic and social well-being."
The "Military Friendly" lists are compiled through extensive research and free, data-driven surveys of employers, schools, franchise systems and cities. The survey results that comprise the lists are independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year, participants are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of Advisory Boards consisting of industry experts from across the country.
Victory Media Inc., a veteran-owned business founded in 2001, has led the industry as a ratings entity for more than a decade, surveying tens of thousands of institutions and adjudicating lists that capture best practices in recruitment and retention of military personnel as civilian employees, students and franchisees. Its survey-driven lists have been published every year since 2003. Employers, schools, franchises and cities represent the top tier of institutions with leading opportunities for military service members and spouses.
UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant, public research university dedicated to engaged learning and innovative research resulting in personal and lifelong student success. The University serves as an intellectual catalyst for economic, social, and cultural transformation on a global, national, and regional scale.