Northern Michigan University has been named a “Gold-level Veteran-Friendly School” by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. The program recognizes academic institutions committed to supporting the needs of veterans and military-connected students with gold, silver or bronze status, based on their services and programs.
To qualify for the gold level, NMU satisfied at least six of the following criteria: an established process for identifying current student veterans; a veteran-specific website; an active student veteran organization; relevant career services, resources, advising and/or outcome monitoring; an on-campus veterans' coordinator; a system to evaluate and award academic credit based on prior military training and experience; and monitoring student veteran retention, progress and graduation rates.
Mike Rutledge, a U.S. Army retiree, serves as coordinator of Student Veteran Services. He helps individuals on the NMU campus and in the community take advantage of all benefits available to them by virtue of their military service. He also is the staff adviser for the Student Veterans Association.
“The most common thing I see on the end-of-semester surveys we send out is the satisfaction with the direct attention veterans get from this office, which is staffed by veterans,” Rutledge said in a previous release. “We try and make contact as soon as the veteran submits an application and then remain in direct contact through their first day and beyond, They don't feel lost or alone entering a completely different world from that of the military.”
Earlier this year, NMU ranked 2nd among small public schools nationwide designated 2020-21 Military Friendly Schools by VIQTORY Media. This was Northern's third-consecutive appearance in the Top 10 and its highest placement. NMU was the only Michigan institution in the Top 10 rankings for that category.