For military members interested in pursuing degrees and transitioning to civilian life, flexibility is key when selecting college programs.
A willingness to accommodate members of the military put Wilmington University on this year’s military-friendly schools list. Out of its 18,000 students, the university said 2,800 are considered military, which includes active-duty personnel, veterans and their families.
Laurie Bick, director of public relations, said the current military-enrollment number reflects a 15 percent increase over the previous two years.This spike in enrollment prompted the university to hire military-affairs coordinators within its external affairs department about five years ago.
“Our military comes into a place that has people here, they understand military life, they can speak the language,” Bick said. “This way they have a way to navigate and a person that actually helps them plan the route.”
Depending on the course of study, university officials said that some classes are completely online. U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James Caverly said that convenience is what military members need.
“We travel a lot and we move around quite a bit, so with online classes it allows me to do things on my own time, do assignments on my own time,” Caverly said.
Currently, he is working towards a bachelor’s degree in political science. Looming military-wide budget cutbacks and size reductions were motivators for Caverly, who did not want to postpone his studies while deployed in Kuwait.
While Caverly is stationed at Travis AFB in California, his wife Ashley grew up in the Dover area and is a Wilmington University alumna. It was Ashley who registered her husband and coordinated his schedule with the school’s military affairs coordinators.
“They played a huge part in … getting me ready for class,” Caverly said. “They were flexible with working with my wife as I’m not able to call home.”