By Adam Kelly | The Duquesne Duke
Duquesne has been named to a 2014 list of the most military-friendly schools in the country by Victory Media.
The Pittsburgh-based Victory Media Inc. compiles the top 20 percent of schools in the nation that provide the best experience to military students.
The outlet administered a survey to over 10,000 Veteran’s Association-approved schools to determine who was included on the list, according to Ben Langdon, Victory Media marketing coordinator. The surveys are then audited by an organization called Ernst and Young.
“The surveys are about what schools are doing to guarantee success of military students,” Langdon said.
The contents of these surveys are data driven, primarily checklists to see which military-accommodating programs an institution has or does not have, according to Langdon.
Patrick Sweeney, a sophomore business major, is currently serving in the Army. He said he finds the professors to be flexible in terms of helping him balance his duties in the armed forces with his schoolwork.
“When we have drills and things we have to attend, like if I had to miss a day of school because of the military, they’re pretty accepting of it just as they are with our sports teams,” Sweeney said.
Donald Accamando, military programs director at the University, said he commends Duquesne for the support they have given to students in the armed forces.
“We [Duquesne] have a great support system, top to bottom,” Accamando said.
Accamando, who spent 28 years serving in the Air Force, added that there are a variety of scholarships and benefits available to those in the military. For instance, a veteran’s Montgomery GI Bill benefits can be passed on to his or her dependents.
Also, on-campus counseling is available for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Currently, there are 200 veterans enrolled in the School of Leadership. 100 are taking online classes, according to Accamando.
The students that are enrolled online are mainly active duty and are stationed away from campus, Accamando said. He also said teachers are sympathetic to these online students trying to balance their military duties with their schoolwork.
Organizational leadership major Evan Weaver spent six years in the Navy and is now in his first semester at Duquesne.
Weaver said the application process at the University was very easy in terms of getting his affairs and enrollment in order.
“Fortunately, the school has taken a lot of my transcripts from the military, so I’m starting off here as a junior,” Weaver said.
Weaver, who was an anti-terrorism specialist in the Navy, now works game-day security for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Weaver said that his service in the Navy had a lot to do with landing the job with the Pirates. However, it was also the college that Weaver attended that won over the employers.
“When they (Pirates) asked me what school I’m going to and I said Duquesne, their eyes lit up,” Weaver said.