Penn State Programs Ranked #1 for Veterans
Oct 2, 2015, 13:53 PM
This year, Penn State welcomes the third annual meeting of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation's Military and Veterans Services Peer Group to University Park to share best practices and current developments at their respective schools.
Penn State has been consistently ranked as a military/veteran-friendly school by numerous publications, including Military Times, GI Jobs, and Military Advanced Education. This year, Penn State's World Campus undergraduate programs were ranked No. 1 in the country for veterans by U.S. News and World Report.
Ted Timmerman, associate director of the Office of Veterans Programs at University Park, and Ginny Newman, assistant director of military education for Penn State's World Campus, along with their dedicated colleagues, have worked hard to make it that way. Timmerman and Newman have a combined 42 years of experience in helping service members and their families get their degrees.
“We are at the top of the pack compared to others,” Timmerman said. “We’ve had a veterans outreach office since the 1980’s and even further back than that, we’ve had someone on campus looking out for veterans since after World War II.”
Timmerman and his colleagues in the Office of Veterans Programs are available to provide support to veterans, and their primary focus is the certification of the GI Bill.
“One of our most important roles is to help students receive their GI Bill benefits,” he said. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is very complex, and there are more than 900 veterans using it at Penn State campuses, with another 1900 studying online through the World Campus. Depending on a variety of circumstances, the bill can cover education costs, housing and book allowances.
This year, Penn State welcomes the third annual meeting of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation's Military and Veterans Services Peer Group to University Park to share best practices and current developments.
One of the programs that emerged from last year’s CIC meeting at Rutgers University is a peer-mentoring program, which kicked off at University Park at the beginning of the semester. Modeled after a similar program at another Big Ten school, veteran students who have successfully transitioned into life at University Park are given training to act as student sponsors for others in the transition process. The new program already has four trained sponsors, and has received a positive response.
“We ask what works and get a feel for how different schools run things. Some things we can bring back, some things don’t work here,” Timmerman said.
Another example of CIC’s benefits will appear this spring.
“We learned that most schools offer honor cords at graduation,” Newman said, “So this year at spring commencement, Penn State is planning on giving red, white and blue cords to recognize the military service of our graduates.” Previously, only the Schreyer medal was allowed to be worn with a student’s cap and gown.
For more, please see:
Penn State's commitment to military/veteran students stands out nationally
CIC Military and Veterans Services Peer Group Meeting--Purdue, October 2013
Student Veterans Say New Center is a Lifeline and Oasis