Northern Michigan University achieved gold-level status from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) for supporting the academic and transitional needs of student veterans.
The MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly School Program 2016-17 rankings recognize Michigan higher education institutions for their dedication to student veterans and their dependents utilizing the G.I. Bill and other education benefits.
Mike Rutledge is NMU’s veteran resource representative. He spent 22 years as a field artillery noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
“Achieving gold status has a lot to do with the university creating my position, which demonstrates that Northern is very proactive in assisting veterans,” said Rutledge after NMU achieved gold-medal status in the inaugural rankings last year. “I’m able to provide transitioning veterans a ‘one-stop shop,’ similar to how many administrative items are handled by the various services, to assist student veterans in filing for and/or managing their earned VA benefits. Hopefully this designation will help convince more veterans to consider NMU and start using their education benefits.
Rutledge serves as the staff adviser for NMU’s Student Veterans Association and plans many veteran-friendly activities. There is also a veterans’ lounge in the same building where his office is located.
Sixty-five Michigan institutions earned gold-, silver- or bronze-level status from the MVAA based on the number of services they offer to student veterans.
“We had outstanding applicants, with more than half of this year’s veteran-friendly schools achieving a gold-level designation,” MVAA Director James Robert Redford said. “These colleges and universities have proven their dedication to the men and women who have served their country by ensuring they succeed in achieving their educational goals.”
For more information, visit MichiganVeterans.com/vetfriendlyschools.