Appalachian retains military friendly status


The Appalachian Online

Laney Ruckstuhl

Appalachian State University has been named a military-friendly school by Victory Media for the fourth consecutive year, given to the top 15 percent of colleges and universities based on the accommodations they give to military students and veterans.

Being one of Victory Media’s military-friendly schools means military students will see Appalachian as a prospective school when they use Victory Media’s online School Matchmaker feature.

According to the annual report by Appalachian’s Military Affairs Committee, one of their responsibilities is to use the best practices for creating and maintaining military-friendly educational institutions.

Some of Appalachian’s accommodations include granting physical education and health credits to students based on their military training, establishing veteran organizations and military student organizations and appointing a university military affairs liaison.

Additionally, Appalachian has a number of programs still in development. These include offering conditional admissions contracts, offering military specific on-campus housing and creating a military specific space on campus, such as a veterans’ lounge.

Lynn Searfoss, an English professor and member of the committee, explained some of the measures she takes to help military students in the classroom.

“I’ve been working on academic programs that could be more useful or interesting to military affiliated students,” Searfoss said. “One of the things that was suggested was to make more use of the kinds of learning they’ve already done.”

Searfoss said since members of the military are trained to be succinct and not elaborate, she works with them to teach them to elaborate in their writing.

Appalachian is also attempting to make tasks such as registration and getting financial aid more streamlined, Searfoss said, since members of the military are used to less bureaucracy and a more hierarchical society.

“In speaking with veterans, I found that one of their frustrations was that they couldn’t find things easily or they had to go from office to office to determine whatever they needed,” Searfoss said.

Searfoss said it’s important to make accommodations for military students because of the sacrifices they have made for our country.

“They have served on our behalf and they deserve some recognition for that,” Searfoss said. “The more we can understand who our students are, the better we can serve those students.”

Story: Tommy Culkin, Intern News Reporter