UIU marches forward with Military and Veterans Service Center

Chad Cook, Upper Iowa University director of military and veteran services, stands alongside the Reflective Tribute Veterans Memorial located on the Fayette campus. Cook was recently hired to help lead the effort in creating the University’s Military and Veterans Service Center. Intentions are for the MVSC to serve as a “one stop shop” where prospective and current students who are military service members and veterans can socialize and easily obtain UIU information, advisement, and support.

Upper Iowa University continues to march forward in creating a centralized effort to benefit its military and veteran students university-wide. Not only will the Military and Veterans Service Center (MVSC) staff personally serve the Fayette, Iowa, campus, the University will also create a virtual space on its website to serve military students and veterans across its 25 other locations in the United States.

“As someone who retired from the Army after 20 years and as someone who went back to college as a soldier, I know how difficult the challenge can be to go to college while serving your country,” said UIU President William R. Duffy II. “I also know how important it is to earn that degree or continue your education and what an asset that can be for military advancement as well as for your civilian life. The military has so many opportunities for men and women who are in service, and UIU is committed to helping them maximize every opportunity.”

Newly appointed director of military and veteran services, Chad Cook said intentions are for the MVSC to serve as a “one stop shop” where prospective and current students who are military service members and veterans can easily obtain UIU information, advisement, and support.

“The goal for the center is to expand on the University’s strong, traditional commitment to provide the best possible services to its entire military family,” said Cook, who has served 24 years with the U.S. Naval Reserve and Iowa Army National Guard. “This will include assisting with other campus assets, VA benefits, FTA coordination, and liaising with the Iowa National Guard, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard Reserves, Veteran organizations, and all stakeholders that serve our military and veterans.”

Cook, who has also served as an educator for nearly 25 years, explained that in addition to administrative offices, the center will feature a VA work study area and a conference room/guest office. Meanwhile, a spacious lounge area will provide a relaxed atmosphere for students to socialize.

“My overall goal and standing order is to serve our military and veteran students, and their families by providing the best and most efficient service possible. We intend to do this by establishing the physical center on campus and a virtual center on-line, and providing consistent outreach and support services to all off-campus centers,” concluded Cook. “I also intend to learn everything that I can about the higher education available in this area and to network and collaborate with my peers from other schools in order to provide UIU students the best services possible.”

Fundraising continues to support the acquisition of the needed resources and the renovation of a section of Garbee Hall on the Fayette campus for the Upper Iowa University MVSC. To date, generous supporters have contributed more than $17,150 to the MVSC. For more information, contact Josem Diaz, executive director of institutional advancement & alumni development, at 563-425-5231 or diazj93@uiu.edu.

A tradition in providing educational opportunities and services

Upper Iowa is especially proud to traditionally offer a wide variety of educational opportunities to the nation’s military personnel, veterans, and their families. A participating institution in the Principles of Excellence and Yellow Ribbon programs, UIU has been named a top Military-Friendly School or University by Military Advanced Education, Victory Media, and G.I. Jobs. The online undergraduate and master’s in business administration (MBA) programs at Upper Iowa University have also been ranked among the best online programs for veterans and service members by U.S. News & World Report.

In November 2015, Upper Iowa University was named among the top 25 universities for serving the nation’s veterans. According to Military Times, UIU ranks 23rd among colleges and universities providing online and nontraditional programming to former and current military personnel in 2016. More than 600 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey.

Today, over 15% of UIU’s 5,500-plus students are active military or veterans. Whether serving on a military post in the United States or deployed, the country’s military personnel are provided the help required to get the education they desire by UIU’s professional staff. A proven, seamless approach, allows students to study at one of the university’s educational centers, switch to online classes, or join a self-paced study program, if an internet connection is no longer easily accessible.

UIU’s Online Program offers asynchronous courses so that students can attend class anytime during the day or night. The participating students actively and substantively participate in discussions on course topics that enhance learning during six eight-week terms throughout the year. The innovative scheduling provides students the opportunity to never having to wait more than two months to start classes.

Traditional classroom settings are available at UIU learning centers on the Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Polk, La.; New Orleans, La., and Fort Sill, Okla., military bases. Military personnel currently in the civilian community, may attend additional UIU education centers in Arizona, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Louisiana.

At the same time, students have global access and there is no need to be on campus for a residency requirement. Special accommodations are available to those military personnel who are required to deploy or go on temporary duty during the course of their studies.

The current UIU benefits/services for military personnel and veterans include the following:

  • Ten percent tuition discount to all military personnel (active, guard, reserve, and retired), as well as their family members who are Department of Defense ID card holders. Veterans also receive a 10 percent tuition discount.
  • Credit for military service (Based on ACE Military Guide).
  • Transfer up to 90 semester credits from accredited institutions
  • (maximum of 78 lower-division credits), with C- grade or better.
  • A personal UIU advisor is available for consultations.
  • A Student Veterans of America Chapter is located on the Fayette campus.
  • A deployment and readmission policy that protects the military student.


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