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SIC Earns Military Friendly School Award

October 28, 2014

Five years running, Southeastern Illinois College has been named in the top 20 percent of Military Friendly schools, according to Victory Media. Each year Victory Media assesses postsecondary institutions military support on campus, academic integrity, veteran graduation rates, and institutional policies for student veterans.

The purpose of the Military Friendly list is to provide transparency and consistency of information to veterans who plan to use their educational benefits. SIC strives to provide individualized attention to each veteran transitioning from military life to academics by choosing the right educational benefit and enrolling in classes.

“Southeastern Illinois College is proud of its commitment and service to our country’s veterans,” said President Dr. Jonah Rice. “Our exemplary staff goes above and beyond to make sure our American heroes receive the support and guidance they deserve.”

Currently, 72 veterans and dependents of veterans attend SIC using veteran education benefits.

Emily Henson, Coordinator of Veterans Services, feels it is crucial that veterans take advantage of the resources SIC provides and know what Veteran Affairs educational program benefits them the most.

“Some of our student veterans attend immediately after service, ready to use their earned veteran benefits,” said Henson. “The Veterans Service Office assists every veteran with his or her application, military transcripts, and financial aid. We are happy to help each veteran transition from military life to higher education.”

Adam Brown of New Burnside is an Air Force veteran and is currently a Practical Nursing student. Brown believes educational benefits are a big reason most people join the military.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Southeastern, especially in the nursing program,” said Brown. “I think it’s an excellent program. SIC made it extremely easy for me to transition from the military into the educational realm, which can be a pretty big deal and scary for a lot of veterans coming out of the service. It is a big change. SIC really made it easy and really made it enjoyable.”

Army veteran and current Veterinary Technology student, Crystal Okerson of Harrisburg added, “Southeastern Illinois College facilitated a smooth transition for me as I transferred from another college. SIC provides all the knowledge and support a student needs to succeed.  The Veterans Service Office is experienced and well prepared to handle any questions or issues I have with my veteran benefits. Amazing veterans’ recognition ceremonies and free access to the gym are just a couple of reasons that make SIC such great institution for veterans.”

In addition to assisting eligible veterans, SIC continues to reach out to veterans within the community by offering free use of the SIC Fitness Center. Over the past five years, SIC and the Veterans Services Office have also sent care packages to active servicemen and women, fundraised $800 for the Eldorado Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and campaigned with the American Heart Association.

On Nov. 7 the Veterans Services Office will host their annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony to honor all who have served. The event will be held at 12:30 pm in the George T. Dennis Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC). Daughters of the American Revolution and the Eldorado VFW Color Guard will be participating as well as a keynote speaker. There will also be a performance by the Mary Jo Oldham Center for Child Study’s Pre-K students. All in the community are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

For further information on SIC’s veteran programs and events, go to www.sic.edu/veterans or contact Emily Henson at 618-252-5400 ext. 2450 or fao@sic.edu.

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