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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

UNCP earns ‘G.I. Friendly’ designation for third year

For the third consecutive year, UNC Pembroke has been named a “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs magazine.

Aubrey Swett

Aubrey Swett

Charles Tita

Charles Tita

Black Line

The list, released in late August, honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to aid America’s veterans as students.

Twelve North Carolina colleges and universities made the 2011 list along with several community colleges.

“This is an important seal of approval for us,” said Aubrey Swett, a 26-year Marine veteran and coordinator for UNCP’s Veterans Education and Transition Program. “It shows that we work hard to ease the road to higher education for veterans and active duty servicemen and women.”

The program added a Veterans Campus Representative in the Financial Aid Office, which already has a designated Veterans Certifying Officer.

“We try to demystify the higher education experience for this special group,” Swett said.

On another front, UNCP’s satellite campus on Ft. Bragg is beginning its 6th year and has a fully staffed office and classrooms. It is approved by the Army and fully staffed office to serve as a portal for its educational outreach to soldiers.

This fall, UNCP at Ft. Bragg has an enrollment of 154 active service members and their dependents. The number is expected to increase slightly when the second eight-week term begins in October.

In May, 19 students graduated from UNCP’s Fort Bragg Distance Education site in a special ceremony.

Flexibility is important to service men and women enrolled in college, said Dr. Charles Tita, director of Distance Education for UNCP.

“Because active-duty soldiers are often in the midst of deployments, the Office of Distance Education works collaboratively with academic departments to ensure that the right blend of classes is made available through multiple delivery formats to students at the Fort Bragg site,” Dr. Tita said. “These delivery formats – face-to-face, online, hybrid, interactive video and condensed terms – have proved to be a good match for military students, who generally surpass traditional students in tenacity and discipline.” 

The one-year old Post-9/11 GI Bill has given GIs and their families more opportunities in higher education.

“This list is especially important now because the Post-9/11 GI Bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school,” said Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher. “Veterans can now enroll in any school, provided they’re academically qualified. So, schools are clamoring for them like never before. Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. The Military Friendly Schools list is that trusted friend.”

Derek Blumke, president of Student Veterans of America and a member of the list’s Academic Advisory Board, agrees. “The Military Friendly Schools list is the gold standard in letting veterans know which schools will offer them the greatest opportunity, flexibility and overall experience. It’s especially important now with so many schools competing for military students.”

G.I. Jobs (www.gijobs.com) is published by Victory Media, a veteran-owned business, which also publishes The Guide to Military Friendly Schools, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur magazines.

UNCP offers undergraduate programs at Ft. Bragg, including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and Bachelor of Science in business administration (management concentration). Graduate programs include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Arts in teaching, physical education (sports administration and exercise and fitness), middle grades (6-9) (mathematics and social studies), mathematics education (grades 9-12) and social studies education (grades 9 – 12).

To learn more about UNCP@Ft. Bragg, please call 910.436.4295, email fort.bragg@uncp.edu or go online to www.uncp.edu/ced/bragg/.

To contact the Veterans Education and Transition Program, please call 910.775.4438 or email veterans@uncp.edu.

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