OMAHA – Today, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is announcing a new step in its continuing commitment to active military and veteran students by becoming the first Nebraska-based college or university to join the federal “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success” program.
Already ranked as the country’s top public university for veterans and top 10 places for veterans to earn their degrees online, UNO stands alone as Nebraska’s leader in this new government initiative.
“Signing the ‘8 Keys to Veterans’ Success’ is just another example of UNO officially endorsing our commitment to our student veterans,” explained Mike Connolly, director of UNO’s Office of Military and Veteran Services. “It’s yet another reason why UNO is the best place in the country for service members and veterans to earn their degree.”
Introduced last year by President Obama, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success” program invites colleges and universities across the country to commit to eight specific tasks that higher education institutions can take to assist with active duty or veteran students transitioning into the classroom.
These steps include:
- Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans
- Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership
- Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming
- Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size)
- Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans
- Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion
- Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans
- Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans
“This program was a natural fit for us because we have actively been engaged in each of the steps laid out by the president,” Connolly said. “We look at this as an opportunity to align UNO’s mission with the goals of the country at large when it comes to supporting those who are defending and have defended America.”
By committing to the program, UNO joins more than 400 other institutions, but is the only university or college based out of Nebraska. UNO’s commitment comes 70 years after the signing of the “Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944,” more commonly known as the “GI Bill.”
As one of the country’s first universities to institute the Bootstrapper program following World War II, UNO has a similarly long and proud history of making the transition from military service to the classroom, including:
- Ranking as the top public university for veterans by Military Times and one of the nation’s most military friendly universities by G.I. Jobs.
- Top 10 Ranking by U.S. News and World Report for UNO’s Bachelor of General Studies degree as one of the best online undergraduate programs for veterans
- A campus location at Offutt Air Force Base
- Establishing an Office of Military and Veteran Services
- Swearing in of UNO alumnus and former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel as U.S. Secretary of Defense
- Free access to the UNO Health, Physical Education and Recreation facility to all active military members on leave
As higher numbers of active duty military return to civilian life and look to start or complete their education, the importance of being military friendly and veteran conscious continues to be a top priority for UNO.
For further information on the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success,” please visit the White House announcement located here.
For more information on UNO’s military and veteran service efforts, please visit the UNO Office of Military and Veteran Services website at http://www.unomaha.edu/student-life/inclusion/military-and-veteran-services/index.php.
For media inquires, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.