Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast named Top 10 Military Friendly School with Gold designation

Thursday, March 18, 2021
The monument and engraved bricks at the Veterans Plaza on Southeast’s campus. The memorial was in planning and fundraising for years before being dedicated in September 2020.
Photo by Ramond Buck

Southeast’s Office of Military and Veteran Services (OMVS) is the main reason why the university was recently awarded the 2021-2022 Military Friendly Top 10 Schools, Gold designation. The Gold designation is an upgrade from the Silver designation the school received a year ago.

The rating is the highest rank possible from Military Friendly, a company that “measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful opportunity for the military community.”

Military Friendly evaluates universities in six categories based on a survey completed by that university: academic policies and compliance, military student support and retention, graduation and career outcomes, admissions and orientation, culture and commitment, and financial aid and loan repayment. Southeast’s full report can be found here.

The report by Military Friendly pointed out the OMVS, an office some schools don’t have. The OMVS is specifically dedicated to improving the overall university experience for veterans, military personnel and their families. Amanda Woods, military and veterans services officer in the OMVS, said the OMVS is an important part of transitioning people from a military lifestyle to a civilian and academic one.

“We all know sometimes it can be frustrating trying to navigate those processes within the university,” Woods said. “We try to break down any barriers to access and [help veterans] excel in their education.”

She said while military personnel are serving, they have “360 degree” support, and when they transition out of the service, “they lose that network, so they often feel alone with nowhere to turn.”

More specifically, the OMVS guides students to campus services like counseling, career services and academic support centers.

The office is important, Woods said, because it employs someone/people who is/are dedicated to helping veteran students succeed.

“We’ve seen in studies when students feel like they are part of a community that they’ll be retained longer, but they’re also more successful within the university and after graduation,” Woods said.

The Student Veterans Organization complements the community the OMVS has built at Southeast Woods said the SVO provides a network outside of the classroom, versus the academic help the OMVS provides.

For more information on the OMVS or the SVO, visit