The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, for the fourth year in a row, has been named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Pitt-Johnstown’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, Director for G.I. Jobs and Vice President at Victory Media. He added, “As interest in education grows, we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”
Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar commented, "We are deeply honored to be recognized, again, with this prestigious honor. It is a tremendous source of pride for all of us at Pitt-Johnstown to welcome our military veterans into our campus community. We are deeply grateful to the brave men and women who have so selflessly and courageously given of themselves to defend our freedom, and who have chosen Pitt-Johnstown to help them transition from their military careers to the classroom.”
Through its signature MountainCat Veterans Program (MVP), Pitt-Johnstown maintains a commitment to serving current and former members of the US Armed Forces. The MVP offers accelerated admission review, priority registration, deferred tuition payments, credit evaluation, and designated points-of-contact in key administrative and student services departments. Special networking opportunities and workshops are also held for veterans throughout the academic year. Annually, President Jem Spectar hosts a Veterans Day dinner recognizing faculty, staff, students, and Advisory Board members who have served in the US military. Last year’s guest speaker was Pitt-Johnstown 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award honoree and retired Air Force Colonel Karen A. Esaias ‘79. Sixty military veterans were enrolled at Pitt-Johnstown during the last academic year.
On Veterans Day 2011, Pitt-Johnstown unveiled The Heroes Memorial, a first-of-its-kind memorial honoring the military men and women whose lives were lost in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the center of The Heroes Memorial is a 3,500 pound steel I-beam from the World Trade Center surrounded by the names of the more than 3,000 victims of September 11, 2011 as well as the names and ages of 1,729 members of the US military killed in Afghanistan and the 4,456 soldiers killed in Iraq through August 22, 2011 (names will be updated annually). Currently, The Heroes Memorial contains 9,208 names. The Memorial also pays tribute to the more than 46,000 members of the military who have been wounded in hostile action in Afghanistan and Iraq.
More than 5,550 of the service men and women who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq were between the ages of 18 and 24, representing the traditional college-age population in our country and the Pitt-Johnstown campus. The Memorial has attracted visitors from throughout the eastern United States.
The Military Friendly Schools media and website, found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.
Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 Veterans Administration-approved schools nationwide. The survey tabulation process, methodology and weightings that comprise the 2013 list were independently verified by Ernst and Young LLP. Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country.
Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization." Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.