For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg has been designated a Military Friendly® School by Victory Media.
Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation are evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. For the first time, student survey data was take into consideration for the designation. More than 1,300 schools participated in the 2017-2018 survey with 849 schools earning the designation. The complete list is published in the December 2017 issue of GI Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.
Approximately 14 percent of Pitt-Greensburg’s enrollment is made up of veterans, active military, and those using military benefits as spouses or dependents of veterans or military personnel. This fall, building on its already strong commitment to serving this population of students, Pitt-Greensburg rebranded its Military and Veterans Services program as SITREP to focus on key areas of Service, Initiative, Transition, Resource, Education, and Partnership. A new Veterans Services Action Team, comprised of a broad representation of campus departments and services, also was initiated to further maximize the resources available to these students.
“We are advocates for our Veteran community,” said Lisa Reffner, the campus’ certifying official for Veterans benefits in Pitt-Greensburg’s Office of the Registrar. “The Veterans Services Action Team is committed to identifying opportunities and connections to help veterans transition to campus life here at Pitt-Greensburg, as well as to help them to succeed as students and transition to civilian careers after college.”
Reffner continued, “There are a variety of benefits available to veterans, reservists, guardsmen, and their families. We want to better support these students in securing the benefits that will assist them in pursuing their degrees here at Pitt-Greensburg.”
Through a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Veterans Services, one of the team’s first actions was to apply for and receive approval to install a chapter of SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society on campus. It is the only national honor society recognizing and honoring the service and the scholastic achievements of student-veterans. In addition to this recognition, the society provides scholarship opportunities to eligible candidates.
Co-chairing the Veterans Services Action Team with Reffner is Alexander Bittner, a Pitt-Greensburg Admissions counselor. Both Reffner and Bittner are former military personnel and veterans. Reffner is a veteran of the US Air Force. Bittner enlisted in the US Army at the age of 17 and currently serves as an Army Reservist with the rank of Specialist.
“In addition to the benefits available through Veterans Services, students may also participate in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC),” said Bittner. “This program has returned to Pitt-Greensburg after a year’s absence. It offers scholarships and stipends to assist students in covering college expenses while providing excellent training to transition the students from Cadets to Commissioned Officers in the United States Army.”
Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 29 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in Nursing, Healthcare Management, Public Policy, and Education, as well as 19 minors and five certificate programs. With nearly 1,500 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community that is a dynamic model of a 21st century liberal arts education. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, the campus is surrounded by the region’s outdoor recreation venues and rich history. It is a five-minute drive from uptown Greensburg’s coffee shops, restaurants, art museums, theatres and boutiques and less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.
About Military Friendly ® Schools:
The Military Friendly ® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. Data calculations and tabulations were independently evaluated for completeness and accuracy by Ernst & Young. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.
Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer), and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
About Victory Media:
Founded in 2001, Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned, small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational, and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands. Victory Media and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense or any federal government entity. Learn more about Victory Media at www.victorymedia.com.