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Grant to boost recruitment, outreach efforts for veteran students

Pennsylvania College of Technology has been awarded a $450,000 U.S. Department of Education Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant.

Over the next three years, the funds will support the development of new recruitment materials, training opportunities for faculty and staff, the creation of support teams for veteran students, and expanded orientation and outreach programs designed to increase enrollment and retention of Penn College’s veteran student population.

Chet Beaver (center), coordinator of veteran and military services at Pennsylvania College of Technology, interacts with veteran service assistants in this photo taken before pandemic masking protocols were instituted. Penn College is the recipient a $450,000 U.S. Department of Education Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant that will support veteran student recruitment and outreach over the next three years.
Chet Beaver (center), coordinator of veteran and military services at Pennsylvania College of Technology, interacts with veteran service assistants in this photo taken before pandemic masking protocols were instituted. Penn College is the recipient a $450,000 U.S. Department of Education Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant that will support veteran student recruitment and outreach over the next three years.

The funding also supports a new staff position – veteran services specialist – to assist with coordination of veteran services in the Major Gen. Fred F. Marty Veterans & Military Resource Center at the college.

Functions to be funded by the CEVSS grant include:

  • Create and implement a veteran-specific recruitment plan.
  • Create a Veteran Advisory Council to identify systemic obstacles that may be easily corrected with updated policies, procedures or training.
  • Create a Veteran Education Support Team to eliminate barriers for veteran students, both by developing appropriate policies and by providing direct services to veteran students when specific issues arise.
  • Develop and implement an effective data collection and analysis process to monitor veteran student enrollment and success.
  • Develop an outreach and partnership program with community agencies to facilitate camaraderie between Penn College veterans and the surrounding community.
  • Increase veteran student enrollment and progression to graduation by establishing a Joint Services Transcripts, Community College of the Air Force, and military experience credit transfer system.
  • Enhance training for current staff who provide mental health counseling services to better understand the unique needs of veteran students.
  • Develop/improve a military deployment withdrawal, support and reinstatement program.
  • Develop and provide a veteran-specific First-Year Experience course.
  • Provide a comprehensive transition program for veteran students by developing a veteran-specific orientation and first-year advising program for veterans.
  • Develop and implement veteran-specific career services programming designed to create a pathway from military service to college graduation and meaningful employment.

The project director for the grant is Chet Beaver (Master Sgt., U.S. Army, retired), coordinator of veteran and military services, with leadership provided by Randy J. Zangara, dean of college transitions and student success.

“Penn College has been recognized for its outstanding veteran and military services for many years,” Beaver said. “With the added support offered under this grant, we will expand and further enhance those services, becoming an example for other institutions looking to offer a complete veteran services program.”

Penn College is ranked No. 4 in Best Colleges for Veterans – Regional Colleges North in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Colleges rankings. The college is also recognized as a 2021-22 Military Friendly School for its commitment to military students.

For Fall 2021, Penn College has 262 veteran students, which includes those who have served and those using the veteran benefits of a family member. Of that total, there are 199 veteran students who have served themselves. All 262 students are eligible for services under the grant.

Visit online for more about Veterans and Military services at Penn College.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. For more, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free at 800-367-9222.

The photo above was taken before pandemic masking protocols were instituted.

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