7 Colleges with the Best Veteran and Military Programs
For most Veterans, life after transitioning out of the military to a civilian career involves getting a degree or some sort of certification. Enhancing your education as a Veteran will bring significant benefits, including more money, more marketability, and more job options. Unfortunately, many Veterans and military members alike question whether schools cater to them and their needs. It springs forth a high level of anxiety.
At Empire Resume, a professional career services company for the military community, we understand the unique challenges you may face after leaving the U.S. Armed Forces. Going to college does not have to be one of those challenges. Believe it or not, there are plenty of schools with programs and initiatives to embrace you and your military experience with open arms.
Best Colleges with Military Programs for Veterans
Let’s take a deep dive into the military-friendly schools that support veterans and their families through amazing programs for professional development. While there are many programs out there, we’re introducing the below 7 colleges with programs for veterans:
1. St. Martin’s University
St. Martin’s has been serving the military community for over 40 years. The school was awarded the gold 2021-22 Military Friendly school designation, and it is the first Purple Heart university/college in Washington State.
The school offers undergraduate, graduate, and certification programs at its main campus as well as on Joint-Base Lewis-McChord.
St. Martin’s has a signature certificate program known as Washington Veterans to Technology (WaV2T).
The WaV2T program at St. Martin’s University is a full-time, 16-week program providing computer science and information technology education, training, and professional development as Veterans begin to enter the civilian workforce.
At WaV2T, you can earn an in-demand certificate in computer science through a regionally accredited program! Additionally, you’ll prepare for industry certification exams, train on the largest cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), and more.
If you’d like more hands-on experience, you can enroll in the optional 16-week Advanced Certificate pathway following the first semester. Classes are offered on campus and at Joint-Base Lewis McChord.
It’s available to the following:
- Active-duty service members in their last 6 months of service
- Veterans with an honorable or general discharge
- Spouses of active-duty military or eligible Veterans
Proof of service, such as a DD-214, is needed to prove eligibility for the program. For more highlights and application information, visit the Washington Veterans to Technology website.
2. Central Texas College
Central Texas College offers a variety of short and long-term workforce programs including credit and non-credit programs for Veterans and military. Its signature program is known as SAP.
The SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) program is 10 weeks and includes hands-on, competency instruction at Central Texas College at Fort Hood.
The program is open to transitioning soldiers, veterans, and civilians. All materials are provided. Upon completion of training, students will receive:
- SAP certification and will be ready for a career as an SAP consultant
- Job placement assistance
- Eligibility to sit for the TS410 certification exam
3. Syracuse University
At Syracuse’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans & Military Families, Veterans and transitioning service members can discover a new career path with its Onward to Opportunity (O2O) career training program.
Onward to Opportunity (O2O) is a free career training program that provides professional certification and employee support services to transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses. O2O combines industry-validated curricula, strong partnerships with leading veteran service organizations and private sector companies, and comprehensive career coaching services to prepare and match you with your next career.
The program helps active duty, selected guard/reservists, veterans, and military spouses learn business, technology, and customer service skills to accomplish their personal and professional goals after military service.
Training is free and combines industry-validated courses, strong partnerships, and comprehensive career coaching and employer relations services to match participants with civilian job opportunities. The course must be completed within 90 days of the start date.
To learn more about the enrollment process and to apply, visit the career training website for Onward to Opportunity.
4. Drexel University
Drexel caters to military and veteran students through academic and social programming, support services, and financial benefits. The school is the choice of over 1,000 student-veterans and dependents.
The school is home to The Center for Military and Veteran Services, which coordinates efforts to ensure Veteran-students can access high-quality campus services with ease.
But one standout program is its Military Transition Program.
The Military Transition Program is a transitional program for eligible veterans that provides additional support and resources to students returning to the classroom. Veterans are considered for this program when they are not eligible for their first-choice major.
For more information about the Military Transition Program, call 1.800.2.DREXEL or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. University of Southern California (USC)
In 2019, USC opened a 22-day, residential program certificate program known as With Your Shield, through the Marshall School of Business, to ensure the successful transition of veteran families into civilian life.
With Your Shield will open employment and educational opportunities for veterans and spouses, prepare veterans for the psychological pressures of transition, and ensure a lifetime connection to the USC network for the veteran and spouse – all at no cost to the family.
The program is administered over the course of 4 months and is currently offered to current, separated/retired Naval Special Warfare military members and their families.
For more information, visit With Your Shield.
6. Piedmont Virginia Community College
The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) launched Credits2Careers (C2C), an online academic and career portal for veterans and active-duty military members in 2017.
C2C is offered at Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) and it is designed specifically for prospective military and veteran students and provides prospective students with multiple academic pathways to apply any previous educational and military experience towards academic programs offered at VCCS schools like PVCC.
C2C is a personalized virtual counseling tool that provides military-connected users the ability to:
- Easily and quickly create an electronic portfolio of military, work, and educational experience. The system will extract and record all components of the military career for which credit can be granted by VCCS colleges based on the military transcripts.
- Augment the portfolio with additional courses, examinations, credentials or other achievements.
- Learn about programs and classes offered by VCCS colleges for any career, as well as earning potential for the specific geographic area where one is interested in relocating or living.
- Access virtual job and career information including a virtual resume builder and a comprehensive national database of jobs specific to the geographic area where one is interested in relocating or living.
Learn more about Virginia’s Veteran initiative, visit Credits2Careers for military.
7. Thomas University
Interested in playing football in college as a Veteran? Thomas University (TU) has a unique football program for military members.
The Military Transition Football Program is a first-of-its-kind military transition program using collegiate athletics.
The season starts in 2023. If you want more information on the military football program, complete the form on the website.
Thomas University has a record of supporting service members and their families. Their Center for Military Life supports the military community from enlistment through transition to civilian life.
Additionally, TU is an Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative (AU-ABC) and a General Education Mobile (GEM) partner. They are also an equivalent provider of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) contracting curriculum and have earned Military Friendly Spouse School and the last 3 years have been given Top 10 Military Friendly designations.
Bonus: College Credit for Heroes
Live in Texas and want to attend college? The Lone Star state offers the College Credit for Heroes Program.
College Credit for Heroes (CCH) is a partnership between the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas colleges and universities.
The College Credit for Heroes program seeks to maximize college credit awarded to veterans and service members for their military experience. CCH is designed to recognize the knowledge and skills gained by military service members and to award college credit for military experience, enabling veterans to easily re-enter the workforce more easily.
Some of the schools that participate in the College Credit for Heroes system include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lone Star College System
- Texas A&M University
- Texas Tech University
A number of these universities and colleges have programs and initiatives geared towards supporting veterans. Check out the remaining list of participating colleges and universities and learn more about College Credit for Heroes at its website.
Benefits of Colleges with Veteran and Military Programs
We’ve done the research to find veteran benefits that are available on the above colleges and others. You may be eligible to reap the following benefits:
- Tuition Discounts
- Active-Duty Military Tuition Assistance Benefits
- Veteran Tuition Benefits like the Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Veteran Advisors
- MyCAA financial assistance for military spouses
- Veteran Services or Veteran Affairs Offices
- Progress unaffected by military withdrawal due to orders
- Credit for Military Experience
- Yellow Ribbon Program
Can you believe that you may be eligible for a grant? Devry University offers a Veterans’ Appreciation Grant, while Vol State Community College offers a Military Transition Grant.
When it comes to getting credit for your military experience, you can use transcripts such as the JST Transcript or Community College of the Air Force transcript, for example.
TLDR Version and Wrap Up: 7 Colleges and Universities with Programs for Veterans and Military
Too long, didn’t read?
If you’re pressed for time, check out our list of schools with programs for veterans:
- Martin’s University
- Central Texas College
- Syracuse University
- Drexel University
- University of Southern California
- Piedmont Virginia Community College
- Thomas University
And let’s not forget about the College Credit for Heroes in the state of Texas and Credits2Careers in Virginia.
You’re now armed with colleges with the best veteran and military programs. Be sure to bookmark this list as you search for colleges and universities to attend. That way, you can always revisit it.
Remember, if you’re interested in learning more about transferring your military skills or education into employment opportunities, contact Empire Resume. We’ll help you build a military-to-civilian resume that’ll generate results as you transition into the civilian workforce. We guarantee it!
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Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for both professionals and service members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and was responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a Ph.D. in Finance.