Saint Martin’s updates website to better serve military students

New web page serves military students

Lacey, Washington — A newly launched section of the Saint Martin’s University website, www.stmartin.edu/military, offers a more simplified, one-stop access point for members of the military community who want to explore educational opportunities and programs at Saint Martin’s.

The new web presence was inspired by Presidential Executive Order 13607: Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses and Other Family Members, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2012.

In August 2011, Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., president of Saint Martin’s, signed a Department of Defense Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding, which ensures all service members participating in off-duty education programs are consistently provided with quality education programs. Heynderickx is expected to sign an updated version of that MOU in December, when the current one expires.

"The new webpages are very accessible and user-friendly, offering all the information related to the specific educational needs of our military community in one location," says Cruz Arroyo, director of Saint Martin’s Extended Learning Division.

The new site is designed to function as an informational clearinghouse for military personnel who are currently serving, as well as veterans, disabled veterans, veterans involved in vocational rehabilitation, spouses and family members who are prospective students or are already enrolled at Saint Martin’s.

"Saint Martin’s recently celebrated the 41st anniversary of its extension campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord," says Radana Dvorak, Ph.D., dean of the Extended Learning Division. "But the University’s history of service to the military goes back to World War I, when monks from Saint Martin’s Abbey provided ministry to soldiers at what was then Camp Lewis."

"Military students have devoted themselves to serving our country," adds Dvorak. "We at Saint Martin’s are equally committed to serving the military and their loved ones through providing a world-class education and very accessible information that will help them discern whether the University is the right place for them to pursue their educational goals."

The website enables potential and current military and military-affiliated students to have instant access to critical information, including the components of various educational plans at Saint Martin’s, accommodations the University makes for service-related absences, contacts for academic and financial advising services, and refund policies. The site also houses a centralized system where users can lodge suggestions or requests for assistance from the University.

Presidential Executive Order 13607: Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses and Other Family Members aims to tighten oversight of educational programs and ensure that military personnel, veterans and their families have accurate information in order to be able to make informed decisions about their military educational benefits. The executive order requires educational institutions, such as Saint Martin’s, that are receiving funding based on federal military and veterans' educational benefits, to provide prospective students with specific information regarding outcomes, costs and financial aid options, before enrollment. The executive order also prohibits institutions from engaging in misrepresentation and from fraudulent and inappropriate recruiting techniques on and off military installations.

Saint Martin’s University has gone beyond the executive order requirements because the order does not mandate the establishment of a clearinghouse website to contain educational information for military students, according to Dvorak.

"We aspire to serve as an example for other educational institutions in this respect," Dvorak says. Currently, 751 military community members are studying on the Saint Martin’s Lacey campus and through the Extended Learning Division located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.

For additional information:

Radana Dvorak
Dean, Extended Learning Division
360-412-6141; rdvorak@stmartin.edu

Cruz Arroyo Director,
Extended Learning Division
253-964-4688; carroyo@stmartin.edu

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media Relations Manager
360-412-6126; mdwyer@stmartin.edu