SUNY Canton is considered one of the top colleges in the nation for members of the military community.
The College was among only 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools throughout the country to be recognized as a 2011 Military Friendly School, announced by G.I. Jobs earlier this week.
“The hard work of so many on our campus has earned us this distinction,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “We have known for a long time that we are a military friendly campus that serves the needs of those within that community. This recognition confirms that others are aware of all we do as well.”
Over the last several years, Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning Kathryn M. Del Guidice organized SUNY Canton’s Military Friendly Committee. She worked with Robert L. Edwards, professor of criminal investigation, to assess all programs on campus and their responsiveness to the needs of the military community, which includes veterans, spouses and children of active duty service members, those in the National Guard and Reserves, and the ‘Wounded Warriors’ who are attending college as part of their transition from active duty.
Through their efforts, SUNY Canton now features a Veterans Lounge, a specific individual within the Admissions office to work with incoming military students, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) training of the College’s counseling staff, and a Veteran’s Day ceremony.
Edwards, who also serves as director of service members learning opportunities, and William Fassinger, associate professor of criminal investigation, organized the SUNY Canton Veterans Association. Students from the Association have presented the colors at the last two commencements, a tradition the College will continue.
“This recognition hits home for many within our campus community,” Edwards said. “A number of our faculty and staff are veterans, including Dr. Kennedy. More than 135 active duty service members, veterans, as well as their spouses and children were enrolled at the College last year. We have become a place that is trusted to serve our military and their families. This could not have been accomplished without the collaboration between the registrar, financial aid, admissions, the veterans on campus and the faculty and staff at the College.”
In 2008, SUNY Canton illustrated the importance of the College’s veterans to its graduating class. In 1943, twenty-seven students were called into service just weeks before their commencement. The veterans, who have come to be known as SUNY Canton’s Greatest Graduates, left to serve the country in World War II. In a heartfelt and emotional ceremony, President Kennedy presented four members of the class and a spouse of a deceased veteran with honorary certificates in their respective programs. Those veterans who could not attend the ceremony were honored for their sacrifice, some of them posthumously.
G.I. Jobs’ list was compiled through exhaustive research starting last April during which they polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide, according to their press release. Criteria for making the list included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting those students, and academic accreditations.
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