In sports, it might be called a dynasty in the making.
Eastern Kentucky University, home to more than 1,200 veterans and their dependents, has earned its second No. 1 national ranking from Military Times EDGE magazine in its annual “Best for Vets: Colleges” issue.
The magazine rates four-year colleges and universities on their commitment to helping military veterans further their education.
The win follows a No. 1 ranking two years ago and a No. 2 ranking last year from the magazine, which considers institutions’ programs, services and policies that support veterans as well as their accreditations. The complete story and rankings can be viewed at militarytimes.com.
The news prompted Lt. Col. Allen Back (USAR), director of EKU’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, to recall the words of an American literary giant.
“As Mark Twain once stated, ‘History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but it does rhyme,’” Back said. “Achieving this number-one ranking for a second time in three years demonstrates EKU’s commitment to our nation’s veterans … and provides the recognition so richly deserved that EKU is sincere about veteran success.”
Pointing to a “long tradition at EKU that honors and values military service,” Back said Eastern “continues to be a school of choice among military and veteran students.”
Other national honors in recent years further validate the university’s reputation among veterans, EKU President Doug Whitlock said.
Eastern has been recognized by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly School each of the past four years and this year was named a Pat Tillman Military Scholar Partnership University, one of only 14 in the nation. Andrew Napier, an EKU senior from Richmond, was one of only 59 Tillman Military Scholars nationwide.
Also this year, EKU was named a VetSuccess University by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and now boasts a full-time employee on staff to help veterans with their benefits issues.
In 2010, Eastern launched Operation Veteran Success, a series of initiatives designed to make the university even more veteran-helpful. These initiatives include:
• No admission fees for undergraduate veterans
• In-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans nationwide
• Maximum credit hours for military experience
• Priority registration
• Book vouchers and Books for Boots Exchange Library
• Veterans Bridge to College Success cohort classes
• Veterans orientation course
• Veteran-helpful withdrawal and readmission policy
• Vet-2-Vet sponsorship program and active Vets Club
• Recreational and other extracurricular activities
• Specially designated housing for student veterans.
Veteran Studies minor, believed to be the nation’s first, to help those who haven’t served in the military to better understand the issues that veterans face, and to help the veterans themselves deal with those issues.
EKU also is home to The Journal of Military Experience, the first volume of which won one of 14 Phi Kappa Phi national literacy grants and “Program of the Year” honors from Student Veterans of America for providing EKU veterans with a voice in 2011. The second volume, published this year, provides the same service to veterans nationwide and includes the scholarship of researchers interested in bridging the gap between civilian and military cultures.
As more and more troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan, EKU has more than doubled its number of military veterans and dependents in recent years. Many are pursuing baccalaureate degrees in criminal justice, police studies, homeland security, fire and safety, and nursing, or a graduate degree in safety, security and emergency management.
This fall, the EKU Military and Veterans Affairs Office moved to a new location, 317 Lancaster Ave., a converted home adjacent to Irvine-McDowell Park. Kim Dickey, a full-time campus-based VA employee, is also available to help veterans with their benefits issues. For more information about opportunities and services available to veterans and their dependents at EKU, visit va.eku.edu or call 622-2345.
In sports, it might be called a dynasty in the making.
Silver Creek Elementary presents: ‘I Need a Little Christmas Vacation’
Originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, Silver Creek Elementary’s Christmas program “I Need a Little Christmas Vacation” has been moved to 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the school. The show is free and the community is invited to attend, said Principal Martha Scarberry.
EKU online enrollment up 37 percent
Nearly 2,000 students are earning their degrees online from Eastern Kentucky University, an increase of 37 percent since last fall.
The most significant growth was in online graduate education, which saw enrollment increase by 59 percent due to elevated interest and the addition of new programs. Enrollment in online undergraduate degree programs increased 25 percent over the last 12 months.
Mayfield teaches community about ‘Christmas Around the World’
Hallmark needed third-grade Mayfield Elementary students to create holiday cards to teach the community about Christmas traditions around the world, their teachers told them.
With this fictional challenge in mind, students went about researching, creating, assembling and selling their own custom-made Christmas cards over the past nine weeks. The proceeds from the card sale will help fund a trip to the Louisville Zoo in April.
Berea College hosts first rural education summit
More than 100 rural leaders gathered at Berea College on Nov. 20 to take part in the college’s inaugural Rural Education Summit.
The two-day event featured keynote speakers, expert panels, discussion groups and a tour of the Berea College Promise Neighborhood.
Berea College Farm Store offers local produce, hands-on experience
Shoppers browsed over a rainbow of vegetables, read labels in the rows of locally produced honey and sampled goodies from the on-site bakery Saturday at the newly opened Berea College Farm Store.
Kindergarten meeting addresses transportation questions
Madison County Schools conducted an all-day kindergarten informational meeting Monday night at Madison Middle School.
Administrators were there to answer parent/caregiver questions, most of which were about student transportation.
All-day kindergarten details available on district webpage
At its Nov. 14 meeting, the Madison County School Board voted 4-1 to adopt a kindergarten implementation plan recommended by Superintendent Elmer Thomas. But to make room for the anticipated influx of students, the plan included several changes.
The district created a page on its website to answer some of the questions parents/caregivers may have regarding the changes.
Color of Maroon 5K draws more than 1,000 participants
Multicolored powder filled the air, landed on eye lashes and covered the bodies of more than 1,000 participants in Eastern Kentucky University’s first-ever Color of Maroon 5K on Saturday.
Despite the cold, runners, walkers and strollers, started at the EKU Intramural Softball fields dressed in clean white shirts (some in tutus). However, every participant was covered in splashes of green, yellow, red and blue by the end of the course.
Kirksville second-graders perform in 'A Froggy Day in Lindentown'
More than 100 second-grade “creatures” at Kirksville Elementary taught friends and family on Thursday about how to handle a bully — make friends with him.
EKU president details economic impact of university, education
Eastern Kentucky University’s impact on the community was the focus of a speech given Friday by EKU President Dr. Michael Benson at the Business at Noon Luncheon, hosted by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
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