December 1, 2010 by Audry Olmsted, NMSU News Center
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – For the fourth time in little over a year, New Mexico State University has been designated a military-friendly institution, a recognition that will continue to make NMSU appealing to the military population.
“Our mission is to provide educational opportunities and services that meet the dynamic needs of the military population,” said David Melendez, military coordinator for the Division of Student Success. “The fact that this is our fourth designation in just over a year motivates us to keep our initiatives going in serving our military. I hope this becomes tradition, in which we strive to achieve and maintain these designations every year – and continue to meet the needs of our military population.”
Military Advanced Education magazine puts out an annual guide of military-friendly colleges and universities based on a series of criteria that include the evaluation of an institution’s academic programs, online programs and the support the institution offers to the military population. NMSU was highlighted in the magazine’s November/December 2010 edition for the wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs it offers that attract high interest from students in the military. The magazine also highlighted NMSU in its November/December 2009 edition.
NMSU was also named a military-friendly school in G.I. Jobs Guide to Military Friendly Schools for its 2010 and 2011 editions.
According to Melendez, the term “military-friendly” means an institution that is sensitive to the needs and dynamics of the military population.
One of the biggest challenges service members face is that they do not spend a significant amount of time in one place and frequent moving makes it hard to finish a degree at one college or university. Students can easily end up with several transcripts from the various institutions they have attended.
NMSU accepts American Council on Education recommendations regarding transferring credits from military transcripts and NMSU’s Veteran Affairs Office serves as a liaison between NMSU students and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This includes certifying students’ transcripts for required courses that can apply to a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree program. The university also accepts credits through DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) examination programs such as College-Level Examination Program and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. DANTES offers a wide variety of education support to the U.S. Department of Defense.
NMSU’s Doña Ana Community College offers classes to the military at White Sands Missile Range, and NMSU-Alamogordo has offered classes to service members at Holloman Air Force Base for the past 20 years.
NMSU and WSMR recently renewed an agreement to provide quality degrees to the military population at White Sands, Melendez said.
NMSU is a member of Servicemembers Opportunity College and is a Letter of Instruction school, as well as a participant in GoArmyEd. Courses are taught online and at locations on or near military installations.
It is not just servicemembers who benefit from the services offered at NMSU, but also their spouses, children and the civilian population.