By: Emma J. Walsh, Staff Writer
USM is known as a military-friendly school where students and faculty can serve the country and pursue their education. According to an article on USM’s website, USM was named a “Military Friendly School for 2014” by Victory Media. Victory Media cited USM’s strong interest in recruiting military students and military friendliness and placed USM among the top 15% of schools who go “above and beyond” for military students.
On November 1, new accommodations were put in place for students and faculty who are in the military and called for active duty. The New Deployment Policy allows students and faculty to handle military orders such as mandatory training and deployments that interrupt their education. The new Deployment Policy allows students the accommodations to serve the country and pursue their education. Students and faculty can work with their professors to make a plan for completing their schoolwork, or withdraw from the semester without financial penalty and resume their schoolwork when they return from their military orders.
According to an article published on WCSH6, the new policy “covers academic accommodations, tuition and housing rebates, and re-admission for students who are called up to active duty. It calls for a full tuition waiver for Maine National Guard members, and guarantees spouses and dependents aren’t evicted during a mobilization.”
Lorrie Spaulding, Director of Veterans Services, says, “What I love most about this policy is the faculty support. When a student receives orders it isn’t just coursework that is affected, it is family and job as well. That we here at USM have such great faculty who are willing to work with our students and do what is in the students’ best interest is a living example of student-focused everyday.”
According to the WCSH6 article, Chancellor Dannel Malloy says that the Deployment Policy “highlights the ways the system will accommodate and support students when their military service interrupts their education.”
The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at USM also offers many benefits for students who serve in the military. USM’s ROTC program is an extension from the program at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham, NH. The program has been growing steadily since its reopening in 2006. Students who attend the University of New England and St. Joseph’s College are also able to attend USM’s ROTC program. Presently, there are 38 cadets enrolled in the program that are attending USM.
USM and UNH ROTC Recruiting Operations Officer Joseph LaPlante explains the offerings of the Army ROTC program. Joseph says, “We average 5-10 second lieutenant commissions per year at USM in all majors during our spring commissioning ceremony. We also commission USM Nurses into the Army Nurse Corp.”