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'US News' Rankings Recognize SJU’s Efforts to Serve Veterans

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Reflecting the University’s continuing efforts to meet the academic needs of those who have served in the nation’s military, US News & World Report’s June rankings of online programs for veterans placed St. John’s offerings among the top 50 nationwide.

The new Veterans Center reflects SJU’s commitment to students who have served in the military.
The new Veterans Center at St. John’s

St. John’s was ranked three times in the top 50 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, Best Online Graduate Education Programs, and Best Online Graduate Business Programs. “St. John’s is dedicated to the success of its student veterans on campus,” said Elizabeth Ciabocchi, Ed.D., vice provost for digital learning. “We are very pleased to be acknowledged for extending that support to veterans enrolled in our online degree programs.”

The rankings capped a year of achievement on behalf of veterans at St. John’s. With student success a priority, the University opened a new veterans’ facility in addition to launching programs and events especially for those who have served in the military.

In February, St. John’s unveiled its Veterans Success Center at the Queens, NY, campus, providing career advisement, tutoring, and other services. Created with the help of St. John’s Student Veterans Association (SVA), the center is a “home” for student veterans, where they also can gain career preparation, practice résumé writing, and conduct library research. “We have close to 400 veterans and dependents at St. John’s,” said Mary H. Pelkowski, associate dean for student engagement. “After what they did for our country, they deserve a place where they can congregate and just be together.”

Kirk Albert ’15CPS, who was stationed in Virginia and deployed with the US Navy in the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Haiti, remarked on how important it is for St. John’s to have a space dedicated to veterans. “It means a lot to me that the University did this,” he said. “It’s great to feel appreciated.”

For the 2015–16 academic year, the College of Professional Studies created St. John’s fi rst theology and philosophy courses exclusively for veterans. “Several recent studies indicate that veterans learn better when they are together,” Pelkowski noted. “These new classes demonstrate that the University is forward-thinking when it comes to ensuring their academic success.”

In addition, the University will host “Celebrate Veterans Week”—a series of events from November 9–13. Students will march in New York City’s Veterans Day parade, attend a self-defense class taught by a US Navy veteran, and meet one-on-one with their veterans affairs representative to review benefits.

“I’m excited about holding a barbecue and a silent auction fundraiser for student veterans this fall,” said Brendan M. McKevitt ’16MBA, who served in the US Air Force for six years flying fighter jets. “I think St. John’s is among the top military-friendly schools in the nation and has been for a long time.”