Education and Support

STRAYER UNIVERSITY

www.strayer.edu/military

Strayer University has been educating working adults since 1892. Strayer has campuses in 15 states and the District of Columbia, with evening and weekend campus hours, and the flexibility to learn online, anytime. Areas of study include accounting and finance, acquisition and contract management, business, criminal justice, economics, education and training, health services administration, human resource management, information systems and technology, management, marketing, and public administration.

Strayer University is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, one of six regional accrediting bodies in the United States. The Commission is recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The Commission is the same organization that accredits universities such as Georgetown, Columbia, Temple, and the University of Maryland.

The school’s student services, on-campus environment, online flexibility, and regional accreditation have helped more than 100,000 students earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

A STRAYER STUDENT | JONATHAN CUNNINGHAM

When Jonathan Cunningham was deployed to Afghanistan with the United States Army in 2012, he worried about what would happen with the online courses he was taking through Strayer University. But the university not only made it possible to continue going to school, it also supported him through the deployment. For example, when he was stationed at forward operating base Wolverine, the power went out, but he managed to get a message to his professors and his university counselor. When power was restored, Cunningham found emails wishing him well and granting him extra time needed to complete coursework.

“It seems like Strayer University really understands the military side of life,” he said. “They have insight as to what it’s really like for us as soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who are taking college courses.”

Now, Cunningham is just a quarter away from earning his bachelor’s degree with a concentration in business management. His wife, who also served in the Army, is close to earning her degree as well. As a human resources sergeant at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Cunningham hopes to blend his extensive career skills with his college education to start a business when he leaves the military.

To support students like Cunningham, Strayer University has a military service team that understands military culture, the unique needs of military and veteran students, and how to maximize military educational benefits. The team helps students align their military experience with coursework, finds ways to provide credit to students for prior military experience, and highlights programs to help reach their goals faster. “My time at Strayer University has been nothing but success for me,” said Cunningham.

A STRAYER STUDENT | ANDREW SMALLS

Understanding military culture makes a big difference, said Andrew Smalls, an Army veteran who served as a medic in Germany, at Fort Hood, and at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. After leaving the military in 2009 and getting a job in the healthcare field, Smalls looked for a school that would enable him to work and attend classes at the same time. Strayer offered a variety of options, from evening classes to online courses that fit his schedule.

Smalls said that his first class was daunting. He was working a full-time job and wondering how he would pursue his bachelor’s degree long-term. But his marketing professor was a military veteran who, Smalls remembered, “was pretty inspirational, because he had lived the same life – gone through the military and worked while pursuing higher education.”

At one point in the quarter, Smalls’ professor sensed he was not bringing his best to class. After class, that instructor told Smalls to “get with the program.”

“He was sympathetic but he didn’t cut any corners,” said Smalls. “Coming from someone else, that conversation would have been received differently. The fact that we shared that military background had an impact.”

A STRAYER STUDENT | GRANT DODGE

Grant Dodge, who is working toward his master’s in business administration from Strayer University, says that, without the university’s support system, he likely would not be as far along on his educational journey. He was in the Army for 12 years. He deployed to Iraq and later served as a drill sergeant. He is now in the Army Reserve.

He chose Strayer University because the school offered a combination of face-to-face and online classes and an accredited educational program.

“I am better able to apply what I learn to my daily work, both in the military and in my civilian career,” Dodge said. “Management theories, project management strategies, human resources, and how to analyze different issues have all come into play both in the classroom and at work.”

At one point, Dodge had to take a five-month hiatus from school to attend a military police leadership course in another state. “The university worked with me to finish the classes I was taking, put some things on hold, and gave me options to work on while I was gone so I could pick up where I left off,” he said. “That was definitely a big help.”

Dodge says he could tell from his very first day on campus that Strayer University employees knew exactly how to work with military students. One of his counselors was retired from the Air Force; he and Dodge immediately connected. “He gave advice based on that experience,” said Dodge. “Now we’ve built up a strong relationship.”

Dodge is a busy man. He is currently finishing his MBA, serving in the Army Reserve, and working as a civilian chief of the training branch for the Air Force on Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Newport News, Virginia. And the activity will continue: Dodge is eyeing a second master’s degree. He has not yet decided what he will pursue, but he knows where he will pursue it: Strayer University.

This article appeared in the May-June 2015 issue of Search & Employ Magazine