San Marcos,
11:15 AM

CSUSM Ranked Three Years in a Row as Best For Vets

Media Advisory by Whitney Frasier

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) has been named to Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 list. This distinction recognizes and rewards colleges across the nation that demonstrate a commitment to providing educational opportunities to America’s veterans.

CSUSM is ranked No. 61 out of 125 four-year universities. It is the fourth-highest rated university in California.

Military Times, the organization comprising Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, evaluated the many factors that make a university a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. Their detailed survey requires schools to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to military and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus.

Eleven percent of CSUSM’s student population self-identifies as a veteran, active-duty military personnel, or a dependent—the highest number per capita in the 23-campus California State University system. CSUSM offers a wide variety of support services to veterans and military-connected students, including unlimited use of the Veteran’s Center and dedicated professional development and career counseling programs.

“Our secret is that we are a high-touch University,” said Veterans Services Director Patricia Reily. “We have small classes and we pride ourselves on knowing who our veterans are—they are not just numbers. As we grow, we are committed to keeping that high-touch concept for our entire student body.”

Reily, who has 20 years of experience as an active-duty Naval officer, coordinates and develops veteran student programs and outreach at CSUSM, assisting in the University’s efforts to serve each veteran who attends or aspires to attend CSUSM.

“Education is a great way for them to transition,” said Reily. “They have earned these benefits and the whole purpose is to facilitate that transition to their next chapter and gain a sustainable career.”

CSUSM’s veteran-friendly approach to higher education is also supported by such initiatives as:

  • “Operation Connect” with the North San Diego Business Chamber. This program helps facilitate transitioning veterans to businesses in the region by creating a career enhancing social network through complimentary professional development training. Completion of the workshop will enable the veterans to become a chamber member and is assigned a mentor.
  • Office of Naval Research Energy Systems Technology and Evaluation Program (ESTEP) partnership. A program intended to connect veteran students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (also known as the STEM fields) with internships in Navy organizations using advanced technologies.
  • Wyakin Warrior Foundation Partnership. Serving the most severely wounded or injured veterans with a mentoring program designed to facilitate academic success and job placement after graduation.
  • VET NET Ally Workshops. A faculty and staff awareness program designed to train and educate members of CSUSM about the academic and career needs of veteran students on campus.

For more information on CSUSM’s Veterans Center and the services it offers, visit:

About California State University San Marcos

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout the year of 2015. Since its founding, CSUSM has distinguished itself as a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. With nearly 13,000 enrolled students, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego and Southwest Riverside Counties.

Eighty-five percent of CSUSM’s nearly 35,000 alumni stay in the region after graduation. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the 2014 HEED Award—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—the University is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. CSUSM is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.