Military Times, an independent news outlet focused on military and veteran information, ranked University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) as among the best universities for providing higher education to veterans and for supporting the veterans it employs.
In the publication’s “Best for Vets – Colleges” ranking, UMGC was No. 1 among Online/Hybrid Institutions for 2023 for the support it gives veterans seeking higher education. It is the second consecutive year UMGC has been recognized for this honor.
In the “Best for Vets – Employers” survey of employers, Military Times ranked UMGC first among educational institutions for being attuned to the needs of veterans who aspire to work for the university.
“The results of both surveys are an affirmation of the long-standing commitment we have to the success of our military-affiliated students and employees,” said Gregory Fowler, president of UMGC. “We have a great amount of pride for the veterans who choose UMGC as a place to work. And they take great pride in helping our students, as they know firsthand the challenges veterans face after military service.
“Throughout UMGC’s entire 76-year history, educating military personnel and veterans has been at the core of who we are as an institution,” Fowler added. “The fact that we operate at more than 175 locations is a testament to our commitment to support our servicemen and women on their education journey wherever they are located around the world.”
UMGC is one of only four schools in the country that have two Veterans Administration VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) counselors to help veterans make the transition to academic and civilian life. The university provides scholarships and grant-based funding opportunities for military students. And it is unique in providing Pillars of Strength Scholarships to volunteer caregivers of wounded, injured or ill servicemembers. The full-tuition scholarships for individuals seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees have been awarded to 69 caregivers since the program’s inception in 2013.
Since 2017, UMGC’s nationally recognized Veterans Assistance Fund (VAF) has awarded nearly $200,000 in grant-based funding to student veterans. To date, every VAF recipient has either graduated or is progressing toward a degree.
UMGC also offers a peer to-peer mentoring program for military-affiliated students available through the university’s virtual student union platform. The One2One program allows mentors to provide guidance on navigating VA benefits and offer encouragement. This program currently consists of 296 mentors and mentees.
To assist faculty and staff, UMGC also offers a comprehensive training program that highlights the characteristics, demographics and needs of the military-affiliated student population. A module of the training is specifically designed to give students a greater understanding of what UMGC has in place for its military-connected population.
In addition to ranking first among educational institutions in the Best for Vets – Employers survey, UMGC was No. 117 among all 230 employers that participated in the national survey, including large multinational corporations.
“Military Times sets the standard for employer rankings for transitioning service members and veterans,” said Mort Greenberg, senior vice president of media solutions at Military Times. “We stand by the rigor and soundness of this survey, which spotlights companies’ employment programs that help transitioning service members excel in their post-military careers.”
The survey captures the areas of greatest importance to transitioning service members, veterans and their families when looking for an employer, he said. Recruitment and employment practices, as well as retention and support programs were given the most weight and importance in scoring and final rankings.
“Providing employment and promotion opportunities at our university for veterans is one of my top priorities,” said Major Gen. Lloyd “Milo” Miles, UMGC’s senior vice president for Global Military Operations. “It’s a key differentiator for UMGC—supporting our connection with the U.S. military for both active-service personnel and veterans seeking job opportunities as they transition to civilian life. Both of these priorities help military-affiliated personnel pursue their goals and their dreams, and ultimately, transforms their lives.”
In responding to the survey, UMGC highlighted its outreach to veterans at military job fairs, its postings on military-specific job boards and its relationships with veterans’ employment representatives. It works with the military Transition Assistance Program, student veterans’ groups and professional military associations and veteran service organizations.
UMGC also reaches out to military spouses and gives special priority to military caregivers – the spouses, parents, family members and friends who care for wounded, ill or injured veterans. It provides skills training for veterans with disabilities.
To retain veterans after they are employed, UMGC helps employees and their families if they are deployed or transferred to other military bases around the world where the university has offices, and it provides communications networks and social events for military-connected employees.
University of Maryland Global Campus was founded more than 75 years ago specifically to serve the higher education needs of working adults and military servicemembers. Today, UMGC is the largest provider of postsecondary education in Maryland and continues its global tradition with online and hybrid courses, more than 175 classroom and service locations worldwide, and more than 125 degrees and certificates backed by the reputation of a state university and the University System of Maryland. For more information, visit umgc.edu.