San Diego, California - San Diego State University is once again being recognized as a top school for military veterans. Military Times released the annual Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings and SDSU ranked No. 25 among four-year universities and is one of only two in California among the top 25.
Military Times’ annual Best for Vets: Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to document an array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties, and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. Institutions were evaluated in several categories, with university culture and academic outcomes bearing the most weight.
SDSU currently serves more than 3,200 military-affiliated students, including veterans, active duty and reservists, as well as military dependents. The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center is a valuable resource for them and serves as a critical link to the rest of the university.
“The Veteran’s Center strives to support all of our military-connected students with a ‘one-stop shop’ approach,” said Joan Putnam, director of the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center. “At the center, military-affiliated students can learn about the variety of services SDSU offers, including scholarships and career support.
SDSU’s Student Veteran Organization, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, helps provide the personal camaraderie veterans were accustomed to during military service.
SDSU is also home to the Student Veterans House. Established in 2009, it is the first of its kind in the United States. The university continues to support the Veterans House, which provides military affiliated students with a space for meetings, workshops and events.
In addition to programs for veterans, SDSU also strives to educate the campus community about the unique needs of the military population. The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center developed the Military Ally program, which provides insight into the cultural and social background of the military community and generates a visible network of partners on campus. Those participating in the four-hour training are equipped with resources, as well as a sticker they can display in their office to create a welcoming environment for student veterans and their dependents.
Much of the work being done by the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center would not be possible without the generous financial support from alumni, students and friends of the university who have pledged more than $7.5 million to veterans support programs since the start of the Campaign for SDSU.
Donors have includedU.S. Navy veteran and SDSU alumnus Art Barron (’60, ’98) and his wife Joan, who were among the first to give to the veteran’s center when it was established in 2008. In 2011, SDSU renamed the center the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center in their honor after the couple made a $1 million donation.
Other long-time supporters of veterans programs on campus include Jack McGrory (’76) who has contributed more than half a million dollars in support of veterans programs at SDSU, and Tom (’67) and Linda Lang (’91, ’13). The Langs recently donated to an initiative to increase the number of student veterans involved in SDSU’s Zahn Innovation Platform (ZIP) Launchpad.
The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center also received more than $17,000 during SDSU’s first-ever 24-hour online fundraising effort, the Great Give.
SDSU was one of more than 500 colleges considered for this year’s Best for Vets rankings. The organization ranked 130 four-year schools, 25 online and nontraditional schools and 14 two-year schools.
“We limit our list to encourage competition, and we genuinely hope this helps raise the bar for veterans on campus,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Best for Vets.
The rankings will be published in a special magazine issue of Military Times later this month, as well as online at MilitaryTimes.com, ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com.