WKU receives awards for treatment of military students, veterans

Samantha Wright

Victory Media named WKU a Military Friendly School for the seventh year in a row, and the Military Times ranked it among the top 20 in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 rankings.

WKU was also recognized as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans of Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report.

Tonya Archey, the director of Military Student Services, said she believes WKU earned these awards through its multitude of programs.

“WKU offers course credit for military training, flexible transfer credit from other universities, the only Veterans Upward Bound program in the state of Kentucky, an Air Force ROTC program, an Army ROTC program, a therapy dog [that is] the only one in the state, the nation’s largest scholarship program of its type, Textbooks For Troops, and much more,” she said. “Our personalized service and attention to their needs sets us apart.”

Archey said military students face challenges different from the traditional student population, so universities need to provide additional services and programs to help them.

She added that to assist these students, schools need to be flexible and understanding.

“Flexibility and an understanding of their needs is an essential element in serving them properly,” Archey said.

Joshua Smith, Military Student Services consultant, said these awards will provide excellent publicity.

“Prospective students searching for a school are going to read about WKU’s high quality support provided without us having to tell them,” he said. “This is amazing publicity for WKU and all our departments serving this student group.”

Smith added that the recognition shows faculty and staff that Military Student Services are providing exceptional support.

“It tells our faculty and staff — whether they counsel, provide support, teach, advise and accommodate their calls to service — they are providing exceptional service,” he said. 

Smith said these awards highlight the hard work put in to make sure military students, veterans and their dependents are taken care of.

“The awards and accolades we have received help spotlight this specific student population and the work that WKU has put into place to make sure that the military, veterans and their dependents are taken care of during their time with us,” he said.