Special to the Press-Tribune
Five higher education institutions, located right here in Northwest Louisiana, have received awards for being schools specifically dedicated to military students and their families.
Schools that received the 2020-21 Military Friendly® designation include Bossier Parish Community College and Louisiana Tech. Louisiana State University at Shreveport, Northwestern State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have also received recognition for their support of our military.
“Being home to Barksdale Air Force Base and four of the five reserve branches of the military service, we have a large community of military servicemen and women. It is critical to have education opportunities for these veterans as they further their education for the growth in the military or as they transition into civilian life,” Lisa Johnson, President/CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce said.
There are more than 13,500 estimated military men and women in the area.
“We are honored to have these warriors as part of our family in Bossier Parish and Northwest Louisiana,” Johnson said.
To become a designated Military Friendly® organization or higher education institution, they are evaluated by survey and public data sources and must meet the minimum standard set by Victory Media. In addition to meeting the standard, if the organization exceeds the standard they can be granted the following awards: Top 10, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
Bossier Parish Community College not only received the Military Friendly® designation but also they received a silver award.
“We are very proud of this distinction as it shows our ongoing commitment to serving our nation’s heroes,” said BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr. “We are dedicated to helping military and veteran students achieve their education goals and will continue to explore ways to address and anticipate their needs.”
BPCC was the only community college in Louisiana to receive the Military Friendly® designation. In addition, they received the 2019-2020 Top Military Spouse Friendly® School making them the only Louisiana college to receive this designation.
This is the seventh year in a row that Louisiana Tech has received the Military Friendly® designation. Louisiana Tech’s Veterans Resource Center, in partnership with BPCC, helps veterans and military families receive information and services to assist in their two-year, four-year, and graduate degree journeys.
“Our university is enriched by the experiences of veterans, active-duty members of the military, and their families,” said Dr. Dickie Crawford, Tech’s Associate Vice President for Student Advancement. “No matter where they are enrolled in classes, we are dedicated to providing an unparalleled educational experience and the services all our students expect.”
Louisiana State University at Shreveport continues their efforts of support of our military for another year. Their efforts to assist the military goes beyond the classroom. “We have a Veteran’s Resource Center, which has been a huge asset in helping military (current and veterans) students through the higher education gauntlet to be able to earn their degree,” said Dr. Julie Lessiter, Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives.
LSUS also has a Student Veteran Organization to serve and assist active, separated and retired military students transitioning into college. They also host a special orientation to prepare any military students planning to attend LSUS.
Northwestern State has earned the title of Military Friendly from VIQTORY for 10 years now. This list has been created to provide a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families. It uses sources from federal agencies, veteran students and proprietary survey information.
“Northwestern State provides service capabilities that extend from the main campus in Natchitoches to NSU@Barksdale, NSU-Leesville/Ft. Polk, NSU’s Cenla campus in Alexandria and NSU-Shreveport,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, vice president for technology, innovation, and economic development at NSU. “It is an honor to be recognized as a Military Friendly Institution, and we will continue to explore opportunities that will enhance and expand services in support of our goal of providing exceptional student service.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Barksdale is a satellite campus from their Daytona Campus. This university consistently ranks among the nation’s top five online bachelor’s degree providers, in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings. They were named No. 1 in the nation providing online undergraduate degree programs specifically tailored for veterans. It’s fitting their satellite campus is located on Barksdale Airforce Base.
“Embry-Riddle Worldwide is committed to assisting active-duty military, veterans and spouses with furthering their education,” Sandy Griffin, Embry-Riddle Campus Director, Barksdale Campus said. “The Barksdale Campus strives to provide educational services specifically tailored to military personnel by realizing the military family has responsibilities outside of school.”
They provide flexible course delivery methods, military transfer credit, military tuition discount for spouses and family members. Those are just some of the added benefits provided to their military and veteran students that benefits their Barksdale Campus.
These titles designate those that strive to assist our active, reserve and retired military by providing them the support and resources they need to continue learning, growing, and guiding them to success in the civilian world. North Louisiana strives to be a support force on all levels for our nation’s heroes.