The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has been raised to silver status by Military Friendly, an advocacy group that rates organizations based on the opportunities they provide the military community.
The group evaluates how schools help military-affiliated students transition into civilian life and pursue fulfilling careers based on benchmarks including student retention, number of federal programs and veteran survey scores.
Military Friendly awards the silver designation to post-secondary education institutions that rank within the 20% of the 10th ranked school. A silver status school must offer at least three federal programs to be considered for the honor. UWM had been ranked as bronze.
“We are committed to excellence for our veterans,” said James “Groovy” Cocroft, the assistant director of UWM’s Military and Veterans Resource Center (MAVRC). “We want them to have a comfortable, safe place to study and know that we welcome them with open arms.”
MAVRC runs programs including Project 22, which focuses on veteran suicide awareness and prevention, and brings the Mobile Vet Center from the Department of Veterans Affairs to campus during stressful times in the fall and spring semesters to support students.
UWM has worked for years to become a military-friendly institution, serving the most veterans of any school in the UW System. In fall 2020, 1,064 veterans and military-related students, totaled across all three campuses, were enrolled at UWM.
UWM was also named a top military-friendly online school in 2017 by SR Education Group.
Making UWM welcoming to veterans and current military is a team effort that also includes the Military Education Benefits Office, Veterans Upward Bound (part of the TRIO Program), Vets Success on Campus and the Army ROTC program, said Yolanda Medina, director of MAVRC.
MAVRC plans to continue improving UWM’s resource and outreach programs, hoping to earn a gold status in the 2022-2023 rankings.
“These rankings not only give our students confidence in their choice of UWM, but a sense of pride as well,” Medina said. “This ranking is also very important to recruitment efforts nationwide as military bases take these results into serious consideration when recommending higher education options.”