Aug. 17, 2009
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU earns national honor as 'Military Friendly School'
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University today was named a Military Friendly School for 2010 by G.I. Jobs magazine. Only 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide made the list. The honor comes on the heels of the University being named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a Great College or University to Work For.
G.I. Jobs included SRU because it has done a lot to embrace veterans as they transition out of the military and into college. SRU currently has 170 veterans enrolled.
"The list 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. Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. The Military Schools list is that trusted friend."
The list was compiled through research and survey results that were started last May. G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide, focusing on how institutions recruit, retrain and provide benefits for student veterans.
SRU is a "school that goes out of its way to help people that served this country," said Matthew Pavelek, G.I. Jobs senior editor. "Students leaving the service are given the same type of consideration and respect that they earned in the service."
SRU participates in a number of programs for veterans, including the Post-9/11 benefit offering financial support for tuition and housing. SRU gives veterans who completed at least one continuous year of active duty three credits toward their education, said Elliott Baker, executive director of academic records and summer school. The credit is for SRU's military science course. Other veterans may qualify for additional credits for map reading or other pertinent subjects as recommended by the American Council on Education guidebook.
Tiffany Aloi, SRU assistant director of financial aid, specifically attends to veterans' financial aid needs. She provides advice, helps with the application process and leads two information sessions a week.
"We have a Web page designed for veterans information, and I sometimes make referrals," she added. "The really nice thing about Slippery Rock University is we have this network thing going on. I serve as network coordinator. I don't know everything, but I know the people they need to contact. My main function is to do the GI Bill benefits. As a secondary party, I act as a referral so that they know who to contact."
Tim Rowe, an admission counselor and Army veteran who retired in 2009 following 20 years of service, meets with student veterans as well. Rowe puts new students in contact with the regional Veterans Administration Hospital education representative.
"One of the things Slippery Rock University does special, especially being a leader, is we always make it an open door policy, " Rowe said. "The first thing I do is I make sure I connect with veterans. I find out their background, if they were in active duty or the reserves. They need someone who understands the system and understands the feeling of where they are coming from. Making the transition can be kind of tough if you don't have one central person to talk to."
G.I. Jobs, published by Victory Media, is a veteran-owned publication for military transitioners. It provides education, transition assistance and job networking opportunities.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.