West Chester University has earned the 2021-2022 Military Friendly School designation and has advanced to Gold status in recognition of leading practices, outcomes, and effective programs for members of the military and veterans enrolled at the university.
West Chester is one of only six universities in Pennsylvania that earned Gold designation.
Military Friendly is the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort, and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community. More than 1,200 schools sought Military Friendly designation by participating in the 2021-2022 proprietary survey. Institutions were also evaluated using public data sources.
Of the 747 institutions that earned the general designation, only 162 nationally were selected for Gold award status.
WCU strives to create an intentional culture of understanding, acceptance, and success for veterans, active military, National Guard service members, and those who support them. Services and resources for members of the military and veterans at WCU are centralized through the Greg and Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center, thanks to the endeavors of Lillian Morrison, WCU’s Veterans Center Coordinator and VA School Certifying Official.
Morrison has facilitated communication among campus offices so that student veterans and their families enjoy a coordinated system of service and a meaningful transition from the military to West Chester. The Weisenstein Endowment has been established to provide annual support in scholarships and programming for WCU student veterans. In addition, a licensed professional counselor, dedicated specifically to the specialized needs of WCU’s student veteran population, is now on staff.
The Veterans Center also offers student veterans spaces to meet formally, study, relax, recharge, and socialize, plus resources and events that connect veterans at WCU with those in the community. A dedicated parking spot for current or prospective active or veteran military has been added directly behind the building, which recently saw upgrades, including to its handicap access ramp/porch.
Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships for Military Friendly, said that the rankings measure each institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer), and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
Click here to learn more about WCU’s Veterans Center and student veteran programs.