Las Cruces – The G.I Jobs 2011 Guide to Military Friendly Schools puts out an annual publication of military-friendly colleges and universities based on a series of criteria that include the evaluation of an institution's academic programs, online programs and the support the institution offers to veterans. NMSU was also named a military-friendly school in the publication's 2010 edition. It was also highlighted in the November/December 2009 edition of the Military Advanced Education magazine.
"We certainly have gone above and beyond what these types of designations ask for," said David Melendez, the military coordinator for NMSU's Division of Student Success. "I think this designation shows that we are actually walking the talk. We say we are military friendly, and our actions show that we are."
This honor ranks NMSU in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide. And, Melendez added, they regularly see an increase in enrollment among the military population at NMSU each semester.
The term "military-friendly," Melendez said, means an institution that is sensitive to the needs and dynamics of the military population.
One of the biggest challenges service members face is that they do not spend a significant amount of time in one place and frequent moving makes it hard to finish a degree at one college or university. Students can easily end up with several transcripts from the various institutions they attended.
NMSU accepts American Council on Education recommendation of credits from military transcripts and NMSU's Veteran Affairs Office provides educational services to veterans and family members. The university also accepts credits through DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) Examination Programs such as College-Level Examination Program and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. DANTES offers a wide variety of education support to the U.S. Department of Defense.
NMSU's Do a Ana Community College offers classes to the military at White Sands Missile Range, and NMSU-Alamogordo has offered classes to service members at Holloman Air Force Base for the past 20 years.
NMSU and WSMR recently renewed an agreement, Melendez said, to provide quality degrees to the military population at White Sands.
NMSU is a member of Servicemembers Opportunity College and is a Letter of Instruction school, as well as a participant in GoArmyEd. Courses are taught online and at locations on or near military installations.
Melendez said he was not surprised to hear word that NMSU had again received designation as a military-friendly institution.
"We are making strides. We are making a visual difference. NMSU has always done what it can to cater to the military population; we have just not been recognized for our efforts until recently," Melendez said.