LEESVILLE, La. (Fort Polk Progress) - Northwestern State University’s new President Dr. Chris Maggio and other leaders from the college toured Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center with command staff last week, further strengthening the partnership between the U.S. Army installation and the university.
NSU is one of the most accessible and high-quality options Fort Polk and regional families have for higher education.
The tour was the first for newly-invested Maggio, and was to ensure continuity between administrations and learn more about how best to provide high-quality higher education for Fort Polk soldiers and their families.
"Northwestern State has had a long and productive relationship with Fort Polk and the university will continue in its commitment to supporting our military and their family members,” Maggio said. “We recognize the sacrifices they make and are doing everything we can to help them achieve their educational goals no matter where their military careers take them. Our accredited online programs are especially beneficial for active-duty soldiers."
Maj. Gen. Gary Brito, Commanding General of Fort Polk and JRTC, hosted the group and briefed them about the JRTC during their visit. The contingency also drove by Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, visited the DHR Library and Education Center where they spoke to the education services officer and director of human resources, and toured the Fort Polk Military Museum.
Also present for the tour was Col. (Ret) Frank Hall, director of Institutional Effectiveness at NSU; Col. Maria Ferguson, commander at Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital; NSU Military Liaison Denise Jackson, NSU Fort Polk Nursing Director Linda Nichols, NSU Leesville/Fort Polk Campus Director Martha Koury and Drake Owens, assistant vice president of External Affairs.
NSU has proven itself to be an ardent supporter of military-affiliated students by providing the unique educational needs for soldiers, their families and veterans. Earlier this year, NSU was designated a 2017 Military Friendly School by Victory Media, the publisher of G.I. Jobs, STEM Jobs and Military Spouse for the sixth consecutive year. The Military Friendly Schools designation provides service members and their families with transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities.
The university also offers specific incentives for military families including $185 per credit hour for active duty and retired military and their family members, regardless of where they live. NSU’s online bachelor’s programs and online graduate programs in education were included in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of the Best Online Programs for Veterans.
Credit for military training is available from NSU along with CLEP tests, Yellow Ribbon comparable tuition, scholarships for military students, tuition assistance and transfer credits. NSU has an Army ROTC program and Air Force ROTC is available through a cooperative agreement. The university also has staff on hand to assist active-duty personnel, spouses, dependents and veterans with evaluating transcripts, developing degree plans and scheduling classes as well as helping to obtain benefits. NSU has a Veterans Affairs Office on its Natchitoches campus, a military liaison on its Leesville-Fort Polk campus and a coordinator on its Barksdale Air Force Base campus.