PAUL SMITHS - For the third consecutive year, Paul Smith's College has been named one of the nation's most veteran-friendly schools by the publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine.
According to Victory Media, which produces the annual "Military Friendly Schools" list, Paul Smith's is among the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace veterans as students.
This fall, 39 veterans and active reserve members enrolled at Paul Smith's. In 2009, when the federal Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect, that number was just five.
Amy Tuthill, director of veteran and transfer services at Paul Smith's, said the growth is partly because the college has increased the amount of attention it pays to the particular needs of veterans before they attend and after they enroll. Tuthill's position was established to serve vets, for example; additionally, Paul Smith's brings a counselor from the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs to campus every month and has started a club for veterans on campus.
Tuthill said the growth is also attributable to the types of programs Paul Smith's offers.
"Our hands on majors, such as natural resources management and policy, fisheries and wildlife science, and culinary arts appeal to students looking for a clear career path once they graduate," Tuthill said. "It's very tangible. This translates from what they've done in the military."
Paul Smith's is a participant in the federal Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps many veterans qualify for full coverage of tuition and fees.
The "Military Friendly Schools" list was compiled through research and a survey of more than 12,000 institutions nationwide. Of those, fewer than 1,800 were included on the final list. Officials with Victory Media said recognized institutions offer "world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served."
The complete list of Military Friendly Schools is available at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com.