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Northwestern State named a military friendly university
Nov 17, 2011 | 881 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northwestern State University has been named one of the most military friendly universities in the country in Military Advanced Education’s 2012 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities. Northwestern State will be featured in the December 2011 issue of the magazine.

Northwestern State has a campus in Leesville-Fort Polk and on Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City. The university also has 29 online degree programs. Northwestern State has a Veterans Affairs Office on its Natchitoches campus, a military liaison on its Leesville-Fort Polk campus and a coordinator on its Barksdale Air Force Base campus.

According to Angela Messinger, coordinator of Northwestern State’s Barksdale campus, the university offers veterans and active duty personnel flexibility and convenience through various campus and Internet class options.

“We are also familiar with tuition assistance programs and veterans, dependent and spousal benefits,” said Messinger. “Northwestern State provides individualized and personal assistance from application to graduation.”

Credit for military training is available from NSU along with CLEP tests, Yellow Ribbon comparable tuition, scholarships for military students, tuition assistance and transfer credits. Northwestern State has an Army ROTC program and Air Force ROTC is available through a cooperative agreement.

Northwestern State staff assists active duty personnel, spouses, dependents and veterans. They are available to assist in evaluating transcripts, developing degree plans and scheduling classes as well as helping obtain benefits.

“Everyone in the Veterans Affairs Office at Northwestern were fantastic,” said Matthew Wallace, a graduating senior from Fort Polk. “I was really confused when I started, but they made the transition as easy as possible.”

Wallace served for seven years in the Army with two tours in Iraq and one in the Sinai desert. He found out about NSU through his wife who is stationed at Fort Polk. Wallace plans to enter the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas next fall.

“Everyone at Northwestern was very responsive,” he said. “They worked with me to make sure I received all the benefits I was entitled to as a veteran.”

Messinger said the university also works with active duty personnel looking to complete a degree through the Community College of the Air Force by assisting them to get a degree and continues working with them as they pursue a bachelor’s degree through Northwestern State.

“The faculty at Northwestern have been great,” said nursing major Trista Cowles, who is a medical administration technician at Barksdale Air Force Base and takes online classes. “They are very helpful and make sure everything goes smoothly.”

Students at Northwestern State can take eight or 16-week classes, which Cowles says is beneficial for her.

“Shorter classes really help those of us on active duty,” said Cowles. ‘I have a busy schedule and I don’t have to worry about being in a class at a particular time. I can lay out a schedule and do the work at my convenience.

“I had never taken an online class before and was a little nervous about it at first, but now I would rather take classes online.”

Cowles singled out Messinger for working closely with students who want to take in person classes on the base or online.

“Angela has been very helpful,” said Cowles. “She’s always there and responds to an e-mail right away. It’s been good having a liaison here to take some of the stress off.”

Information on electronic classes at Northwestern State is available at Northwestern State’s Veteran Affairs Website is at The e-mail address is You can learn about the Barksdale campus at or contact Messinger at Additional information on the Leesville/Fort Polk campus can be found at Military Liaison Officer Robert Triplett can be contacted at

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