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Archive for the ‘veterans’ Category

2016_BFV_COLLEGESSt. Petersburg College is once again among the top 20 four-year colleges in the United States for serving veterans. According to the Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2016, SPC was ranked 19 and joins the University of South Florida as the only other Florida school in the top 20.

The Best for Vets rankings, now in their sixth year, give service members, military veterans and their families a tool to assess whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them. For the past five years, St. Petersburg College has consistently ranked among the top 50 four-year schools in the nation for veterans, landing at number 15 in both 2013 and 2015.

In 2014-15, SPC served 2,329 active duty service members, veterans and their dependents, or just over 7 percent of SPC’s 33,000 students. During that time, 1,966 of those veteran students received certified GI Bill benefits.

Veterans Services at St Petersburg College has grown so much over the last five years because of our veteran-friendly nature and our terrific staff that we saw the need to develop a GI Bill Centralized Certification and Processing system,” said Jeff Cavanagh, director of SPC’s Veterans Services. The new system earned the school a nearly perfect federal audit and was hailed as a model for other schools in the state.

“That system, coupled with recruiting, and our military student resource manual that we’ve developed, has really caught the attention of individuals and organizations like the Military Times who seem keen on keeping us among the top 20 military friendly four-year schools in the United States,” Cavanagh said.

To create the rankings, Military Times used schools’ survey responses “based on what veterans have told us is more important to them, as well as on our own editorial judgment,” according to the editors. The publication also used data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, and three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

Schools were evaluated in five board categories:

  • academic outcomes/quality
  • university culture
  • student support
  • academic policies
  • cost and financial aid

The highest value was placed on academic outcomes/quality and university culture.

According to the report, SPC scored high in staff and academic support as well as exrtacurriculuars offered to veterans, such as the number and activity level of student veteran groups, initiatives that support military spouses and families, and nonacademic school events, like service projects and Veterans Day programs. SPC has an active Student Veterans Association.

This year, more than 600 schools responded to the survey that requires them to document services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to military and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. That number is up from 400 schools last year.

Beyond the second-ranked USF, other four-year Florida schools that made the rankings include Florida State University at 24, Florida Atlantic University at 96 and Pensacola State College at 109. No two-year or non-traditional Florida schools made the rankings.

The rankings are published in full in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times on newsstands the week of Nov. 9; and online at MilitaryTimes.com, as well as ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com.

“It’s been amazing to witness how colleges all across higher education have embraced service members and their families,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times’ Best for Vets rankings and special editions. “Over the past six years of our surveys, we’ve seen so many schools first begin to foster – through new policies, services and dedicated facilities – and then nurture these wonderful communities.”

This is the second honor for the college’s veterans-related efforts this month. Just last week, SPC was selected as a 2016 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media.

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Military Friendly SchoolSt. Petersburg College has again been named a 2016 Military Friendly School by Victory Media, Inc.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation.

Victory Media is a veteran-owned business that surveys thousands of institutions and compiles lists that capture best practices in recruitment and retention of military personnel and civilian employees, students and franchisees.

Its lists of Military Friendly Employers, Schools, Franchises and Cities are published annually in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur magazines.

View all participating institutions on the 2016 list of Military Friendly Schools.

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SPC-veterans

From left: Jane Strong, Jeffrey Schultz; SVA member at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus; Jeffrey Thomas, vice president of SVA Gibbs; Christopher Clarke, president of SVA Gibbs; and Tina March, academic advisor for SVA Gibbs.

A group of student veterans from the Student Veterans Association at the St. Petersburg College participated in the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System Stand Down for Homeless event at the C. W. Bill Young VA Medical Center April 11.

The event provided access to a wide range of services – medical care, free meals, toiletries, hot showers, clothing items, benefits and housing information, and employee assistance – available to homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless.

The student veterans from the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, Christopher Clarke, Jeffrey Thomas and Jeffrey Schultz, provided endless energy and information to the Bay Pines veterans about programs at SPC.

“Our SPC veterans informed these veterans of the camaraderie that could be found on the various campuses throughout the college,” said Tina March, Academic Advisor for the SVA at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. “Many of the veterans expressed an interest in pursuing a career and a degree.”

Some of these veterans at the VA already have college degrees and some college experience. They just need additional information, names, and networking to proceed.

“The team from SPC met the needs of these veterans as they provided information about the services and assistance from the Homeless Education Waiver,” said March.

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March, Rafael Rivera, Mohammed Shaker, Chris Clark.

Pictured above are: Brenton David, Karen Donovan, Jacob Lurvey, David Creighton, Jeffrey Schultz,Jason Hoven, Madeline Rondo,Kristina Phillips, Jeff Thomas, Representative David Jolly, Bill Fleming, Earnest Gant, David Weatherspoon, Tina March, Rafael Rivera, Mohammed Shaker, Chris Clark.

When the new Pinellas Bayway Bridge opened Oct. 17, members of St. Petersburg College’s Student Veterans Association (SVA) and Males Achieving Excellence (MAX) were on hand as volunteers. Festivities included a 5K run, a paddle board flotilla, a pool party, a beach party and a ceremonial lighting of the bridge.

The SVA and MAX volunteers helped set up the beach bash, provided water at the aid stations for the runners, helped with traffic flow, distributed safety lights to the spectators and moved the equipment from the starting line to the finish line before and after race. The race was so successful that plans are already in the works to do it again next year.

The activities were captured by volunteer photographer Charlie Harris, an SVA member from the Clearwater Campus. Check out all the photos in the SVA Facebook gallery.

Fees from the race topped $15,000 and were donated to the Associated Marine Institute Kids, a program that supports troubled children, and to Tampa BayWatch Marine, an organization that protects and restores the Tampa Bay estuaries.

Article courtesy of Rafael Rivera Nieves, CPO, USCG, (ret.)

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St. Petersburg College is listed among Military Advanced Education magazine's list of Top Colleges & Universities of 2015. For the second consecutive year, St. Petersburg College has been designated a Top School by Military Advanced Education magazine in its 2015 MAE Guide to Colleges & Universities. The publication, to be released in December, measures best practices in military and veteran education.

“I’m very proud of the veteran services team and our veteran student population in general and the efforts they continue to show to establish our footing as one of the most military friendly colleges and universities in the U.S.,” said Jeff Cavanagh, Director of Veterans Services at St. Petersburg College.

MAE’s 2015 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to the country’s men and women in uniform. The guide presents results from a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions nationwide, including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year and two-year colleges.

The highly-regarded publication regularly boasts covers of “movers and shakers” in the Department of Defense and education, Cavanagh said.

“I’m thrilled that we have been recognized by such a high-profile magazine, the readership of which includes people at the highest levels of education, not only within the military but throughout the country as a whole,” Cavanagh said. The publications often can be found on military bases and installations around the country, in classrooms and in educational centers.

This recognition marks the third veterans’-related accolade the college has received in Fall 2014. Earlier this week, the Military Times announced SPC as ranked No. 15 in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 list. In October, SPC was selected as a 2015 Military Friendly® School in the 2015 Guide to Military Friendly Colleges and Universities by Victory Media.

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Logo for the Best for Vets 2015 rankings by the Military Times. For the fourth consecutive year, St. Petersburg College has been named among the Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 by Military Times. This year, the college ranks No. 15 among four-year institutions in the U.S.

Best for Vets provides service men and women a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them. The distinction recognizes SPC for its commitment to providing opportunities to our nation’s veterans.

“We factor in what is, to our knowledge, the most detailed school-by-school data on veteran students’ academic success anywhere, including graduation, retention, persistence and course completion rates,” says Amanda Miller, editor of Bets for Vets.

Two years ago, only 11 percent of the hundreds of schools surveyed could provide that level of detail. This year, that figure is up to 45 percent.

“By recognizing only the schools that do the most, we believe we’re helping to raise the bar in veteran student services,” Miller said.

The detailed survey requires schools to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to military and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus.

“I’m so excited,” said Jeff Cavanagh, Director of Veterans Services at SPC. “The passion of our veterans services staff and veteran student assistants that has helped elevate SPC in the eyes of the military community. Our students mean everything to us.”

This year, St. Petersburg College has served more than 2,167 student veterans, according to the VA-ONCE certified database.

SPC ranked No. 27 on the list of four-year institutions in 2014. The college ranked No. 15 in 2013 and No. 47 in 2012.

This is the second honor for the college’s veterans-related efforts this fall. In October, SPC was selected as a 2015 Military Friendly® School in the 2015 Guide to Military Friendly Colleges and Universities by Victory Media.

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MFS15_200x200St. Petersburg College has been named a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media, Inc.

SPC was recognized for going above and beyond to provide transitioning veterans the best possible experience in higher education.

Victory Media is a veteran-owned business that surveys thousands of institutions and compiles lists that capture best practices in recruitment and retention of military personnel and civilian employees, students and franchisees.

Its lists of Military Friendly Employers, Schools, Franchises and Cities are published annually in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur magazines.

View all participating institutions on the list of Military Friendly Schools for 2015.

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