READING, Pa. -- Penn State Berks recently has been named a silver-level Military Friendly School Award recipient for 2017. The silver-level award signifies that the college “falls within 30 percent of the 10th-ranked organization,” according to Victory Media, originator of the family of Military Friendly employment, entrepreneurship and education resources for veterans and their families.
Penn State Berks was one of 16 Penn State campuses, plus Penn State World Campus, that received the designation. The campuses all appear in the award category of “Public Universities with fewer than 10,000 enrolled students.”
"We are pleased to learn that, once again, Penn State Berks has been designated a 'military friendly' campus. Our student veterans population continues to grow, and we appreciate their presence and contributions to the Berks campus community," said Penn State Berks Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk.
Currently, approximately 150 veterans and dependents are enrolled at the campus for the fall 2016 semester. The Office of Veteran Affairs at Penn State Berks offers:
- Support to help with the transition from military life to the college environment
- Peer mentoring (Veterans Outreach)
- Assistance with making the transition from college to the work force
- VA certifying officials
- College credit for military experience
- Student Veterans of America–Penn State Berks Chapter
- Veterans and dependents information workshops
- Priority registration
In addition, the Student Veterans of America–Penn State Berks Chapter recently received a $10,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation and Student Veterans of America (SVA) for its veteran center on campus, as part of their Vet Center Initiative. The grant will be used to transform space in the Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building, room 325, into a new student veteran center on campus.
According to Joseph Webb, Director of Student Support Services and adviser to the SVA chapter, the college will use the funding to purchase new furniture, a television, mini refrigerator and a microwave, as well as to renovate the space with a new coat of paint, ultimately creating a home-away-from-home for student veterans. He added that the renovations should be completed by the end of the fall 2016 semester.
The Military Friendly Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of Veterans Affairs-approved institutions that demonstrate a commitment to serving student veterans on campus and in their careers.
Now in its eighth year, the Military Friendly Schools designation and list by Victory Media provides service members transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities. The survey captures more than 50 leading practices in supporting military students and is available free of charge to the more than 8,000 schools approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding. For a full list of the 2017 Military Friendly Schools, or to see the methodology used by Victory Media, go to militaryfriendly.com.
“All of our Military Friendly award recipients set the standard for excellence,” said Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer of Victory Media and head of Military Friendly development. “They offer exceptional examples of what it means not just to build a program that meets federal requirements, but one that serves the military and veteran community from classrooms to careers.”
For more information about Penn State Berks’ commitment to attracting and supporting military students, contact Joe Webb, director of Student Support Services, at 610-396-6072 or [email protected], or visit http://berks.psu.edu/veterans-services.