PBSC remains a national leader in veterans services
Palm Beach State College once again ranks among the top 10 schools in the country for veterans services.
VIQTORY, a prestigious military publisher, designated PBSC as a 2021-2022 “Top 10” Military Friendly® School, with a ranking of 8th in the large public schools category.
To develop the annual Military Friendly® Schools list, which was published in the October edition of G.I. Jobs magazine, VIQTORY evaluated public data and responses from a proprietary survey completed by over 1,200 schools. Nearly 750 schools earned the Military Friendly® School designation. Institutions were measured for their ability to meet thresholds for student retention, job placement, loan repayment, persistence and loan default rates for all students, and, specifically, student veterans.
While other state colleges and universities made the Military Friendly® Schools list, PBSC is the only Florida College System institution in the top 10 for any of the 11 categories. The categories are based on the sizes of institutions and their degree and program offerings.
“We’re pleased that we are able to maintain our status in the top 10,’’ said Luis Torres, veterans affairs manager.
PBSC moved down from fourth to the eighth spot, which Torres attributes to the pandemic, but he cited ongoing initiatives to help veterans and families for keeping the College in the top 10. The College has been in the top 10 since it first participated in the survey in 2018.
PBSC currently serves more than 700 veterans and their families through resource centers on three of its five campuses in Lake Worth, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens. The College also has a designated veterans academic advisor for the Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves locations.
Among the initiatives over the last year to support veterans, Torres said, the Veterans Success Center on the Lake Worth campus was among the first facilities to reopen for on-campus support after the onset of the pandemic.
The center partnered earlier this year with the V.A. Medical Center to offer COVID-19 vaccinations on campus. It also was the site of a news conference held by U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel to promote a bill that would provide federal funding for similar facilities at colleges and universities nationwide.
Central to this, the PBSC Foundation secured additional private scholarships for veterans and helped enhanced processes to help students get faster access to scholarship dollars provided by the Friends of Ibis Charitable Organization, Inc. for books.
“We saw the needs changing during the pandemic. We had to adjust the way we distributed the scholarships to make sure we were impacting the needs,” Torres said.
Torres said with the launch of the new Student Support Services TRIO program solely for veterans, the College will continue to enhance support for them. PBSC is among only 19 institutions in the nation with an SSS Veterans program. Only in its first year of operation, the program currently serves 100 low-income, first-generation college students or those with disabilities, and complements the services offered by the veterans resource centers. They receive comprehensive services, including academic tutoring, to help them stay in school and graduate.
“When you transition from the military, you don’t have these resources right at your fingertips. Just acclimating can be a challenge, and we fill that gap,’’ said Christopher Shanks, SSS veterans program grant director.
For more details on the Military Friendly® Schools list, visit www.MilitaryFriendly.com.