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Its work with military veterans has earned East Central University a plaque and a spot on G.I. Jobs magazine's list of military-friendly schools for 2010.

ECU ranks in the magazine's top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools which are doing the most to embrace America's veterans as students.

ECU has had a Veterans Upward Bound program for many years that prepares eligible veterans to enter or re-enter post-secondary programs in technical or vocational schools or colleges anywhere in the United States.

The university also recently received a new $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to continue its Veterans Workforce Investment Program. VWIP helps veterans overcome employment barriers and ease their transition into civilian careers. ECU hopes to serve 160 eligible veterans in 2009-10.

In addition, the Oklahoma Army National Guard established its first-ever GOLD (Guard Officer Leadership Development) program at ECU in 2006. The program allows students to minor in military science, earn 10 hours of college credit and earn commissions as officers in the OANG.

"This list (of military-friendly schools) is especially important now because the recently enacted Post-9/11 GI Bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school," said Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher. "Veterans can now enroll in any school, provided they're academically qualified."

McCormack said the list was compiled after G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide. A full story and detailed list of the schools will be highlighted in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools which will be distributed to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in September.

A new website,, will be launched in September to assist military veterans in choosing schools that best meet their educational needs.

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