The Pennsylvania National Guard Associations (PNGAS) recently recognized Penn State Mont Alto as a “Guard Friendly ” school. The recognition came during the Guard’s annual conference Nov. 8 in Lancaster.
The University is one of 30 inaugural winners selected from more than 480 schools receiving Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Program Funds. It is and the only college recognized in Franklin County.
The university is committed to easing veteran students’ transition from military service to higher education, according to Lisa D. DeGregorio, PSUMA veterans certifying officer.
PSUMA fosters a community of veterans on its campus, and supports them through graduation and into rewarding careers and graduate programs.
DeGregorio accepted the award on behalf of Penn State Mont Alto.
PNGAS is the only organization dedicated to supporting the Pennsylvania National Guard and their families. There are 19,438 active members and more than 67,000 veterans. PNG recruits more than 2,300 new members each year to replace guard members who have either completed their commitments or retired. The PNGAS mission supports efforts to recruit, train and retain PNG members.
Earning Guard Friendly School Status
To earn Guard Friendly School status, Penn State Mont Alto had to meet PNGAS criteria that included:
- Class attendance policies excuse National Guard members when they attend training or are deployed.
- Applying class credit for military training experience; training for faculty and staff to better serve veteran and military students.
- Accepting funds from the EAP, which provides PNG members tuition benefits from the state. Those benefits are equivalent to the yearly tuition rate set by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.
Other supporting evidence for the recognition include:
- Penn State Mont Alto having an active Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter.
- A Student Veterans’ Mentoring Program.
- A designated Veterans Center, where student veterans can gather, share experiences, and study.
Mont Alto is a signatory of the Education Pillar of “Got Your 6,” the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success.”
The school participates in the “Principles of Excellence” in recruiting and retaining veteran students.
The campus dedicated the Penn State Mont Alto Veterans’ Memorial in 2012 funded mostly by money raised by the SVA. Penn State Mont Alto Also hosts an annual Veterans Day event.
Last year, Penn State Mont Alto placed third in the top 10 Gold Military Friendly Schools. It is in the category of “small public schools with less than 10,000 students” designated by Victory Media.