University News

Western's Commitment to Veterans, Active Service Members Continues to Expand

March 5, 2018

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University's decades-long missions of serving veterans and active duty members of the armed forces continues as new initiatives have been put into place to provide further support to these individuals.

"Last fall, in advancing our military relations, Vice President for Quad Cities and Planning Joe Rives worked with nine military installations across the United States as part of the President's Executive Institute. At each of these meetings, two questions were asked by military officials: 'Will the University offer tuition assistance and what additional online and hybrid programs will the University offer the armed forces?'," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "As a result of these meetings, Western's Board of Trustees recently approved a new federal tuition assistance rate for active duty military students. This action, along with new programs, expanded online programs and hybrid learning opportunities, gives military students increased educational opportunities whether they are stationed, deployed or retired."

The Board approved WIU's active duty personnel tuition rate not exceed the rate established by the Armed Forces ($250 per credit hour), effective Fall 2018.

Western is adding new online degree programs to its academic portfolio. In addition to the current online programs in anthropology, general studies, management, fire protection services, and nursing, as well master's degree programs in business administration, education and instructional design and technology, beginning this fall, students will be able to complete bachelor degree programs online in law enforcement and justice administration, fire science, economics and accountancy. Western also offers hybrid master's degree programs in business administration, college student personnel and community and economic development. In these programs, students complete 25 percent of their coursework on campus and the remaining 75 percent online.

"We are responding to meet the needs of our veterans and active duty service men and women," Rives said. "We will continue our military partnership meetings this spring, and our relationship with the military is further enhanced by the work and strong advocacy of our Military Task Force."

Western was recently recognized as a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs Magazine (Victory Media), achieving Bronze designation. This is the ninth consecutive year the University has been ranked by G.I. Jobs Magazine. Western is one of four Illinois public institutions to receive the 2018 special designation ranking. In December 2017, Western was selected, for the eight consecutive year, as a Military Times "Best College" (formerly known as "Best for Vets College") by Military Times magazine.

"Western provides phenomenal service and support to veterans and active personnel," added John Kennealy, a WIU senior computer science major and U.S. Army veteran.

The Veterans Resource Center on the Macomb campus is committed to assisting those who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, and their family members. In collaboration with an array of University departments and community organizations, the center provides coordinated services and resources in a one-stop location to ensure that all veterans and service members are afforded the greatest opportunities for success. Students receive individualized assistance in completing request forms such as educational and military transcripts, and grant and aid applications. Additional services include assistance with periods of military activation and deployment; obtaining housing; requesting military records; and acquiring community living information, outreach services and health benefits. Similar services are also available on the WIU-QC campus in QC Complex 2416.

For more information about veterans' resources at WIU-Macomb, contact Kathy Meyers at or (309) 298-3505, and at WIU-Quad Cities, contact Curtis Williams at or (309) 762-9080.

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Office of University Relations