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JU Director of Military & Veterans Resource Center, Mike Mitchell, serving up some pre-Veterans Day appreciation at Defender’s Den

Military Times Names JU “Best for Vets College” Third Consecutive Year

By Kiana Blaylock

Jacksonville University has been selected among the top four-year schools in the U.S. on the Military Times “Best Vets Colleges 2019” list for a third consecutive year.

Military Times reviews colleges and ranks them in the areas of academic quality, financial aid, and retention rates. They ask colleges and universities to meticulously document an immense array of services, special rules, accommodations, and financial incentives offered to students with military ties. Colleges are requested to describe many aspects of veteran culture on campus.

This is also JU’s second year ranked in the top 50 of all four-year colleges and universities across the nation.

To create the rankings, The Military Times evaluated each college’s offerings and services, and compared them to what veterans believe are important. The “Best for Vets” selection is trusted throughout the veteran community and is considered the “mark of excellence for schools and other organizations that work with veterans, service members and military families,” according to George Altman, Editor in Charge.

To guarantee a great educational and comfortable experience for its student veterans, JU designated a space specifically designed for military students and veterans, Defender’s Den Student Veterans Center, in March 2014. The Den is centrally located in the Founders Building, featuring a computer lab, a dedicated study space, and lounge area to relax between classes. The Den is also home to the only USO Liaison Center located in a dedicated college student veteran center in the U.S.

The comfort and ease of the student veterans’ academic experience is a priority to the JU community. Michael Mitchell, USN (RET), Director of Military and Veterans Resources Center, provides Green Zone Training to JU faculty and staff to educate them with the basic knowledge about the military and the types of veteran students on campus. “In my experience with student veterans, I’ve learned that they are doing something different from what they were used to being in the military,” Mitchell said. “ My job is to provide the necessary tools to get them on the right path to educational success.”

Defender’s Den, dedicated to and exclusively for JU’s campus military community.

JU’s comprehensive approach to assimilating their student veterans into the community significantly enhances the military student experience. Another way JU provided a smooth transition for it student veterans is its improvement to the University’s Career Resource Center. It has developed and implemented a distinct Veteran Career Track that leverages the experience of our military students as they seek meaningful careers, aligning with the vision of preparing each student for life-long success in learning, achieving, leading and serving permeates every element of the University.

Visit Military Times for the full “Best for Vets College 2019” rankings and survey methodology.