Wilkes University


Wilkes University Earns 2016 Military Friendly Schools® Designation

Wilkes University has been designated a Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, parent company of G.I. Jobs magazine. This is the sixth consecutive year that Wilkes has been named to the list, which honors the top 15 percent of colleges with leading programs for veterans, members of the Armed Forces leaving military service and military spouses.

The smooth transition to academic life at Wilkes includes having a dedicated veterans' affairs counselor, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Mark Kaster, to work with them when they come to the University. 

“Wilkes University’s ongoing commitment to supporting and encouraging veterans has been affirmed by its consistent recognition as a Military Friendly School,” Kaster said. “In and out of the classroom, Wilkes does all it can to help with the transition to civilian life and to help veterans succeed in college.” 

Kaster established the Wilkes University Student Veterans Council, a campus organization, to provide additional support for veterans and their families. The council recently was awarded a $10,000 grant from the VetCenter Initiative grant program of Student Veterans of America and Home Depot. It will be used to create a veterans resource center on campus. The veterans council provides programming to help members of the military transition into the civilian world. Its members also support service projects related to the military, such as sending care packages to soldiers and supporting the Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” holiday campaign. 

The University also created the Inter-Organizational Veteran Educational Support Team (INVEST), which is run by AmeriCorps VISTA worker Emily McGaha. The INVEST project, a collaborative effort between Wilkes University and community partners, is designed specifically to mitigate risk factors that hinder veteran persistence in higher education. Community partners include AMVETS, the VA Hospital, Veterans Center of Scranton and Tri-Vets Community Action Center, among others. INVEST ensures the University and community veterans achieve at the highest level.

The Military Friendly® Schools list this year highlights more than 1,400 schools exhibiting best practices in support of military students. Institutions of higher learning competed for the title by covering ten indicators of success, including: support for student veterans on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, and military spouse policies. 

For more information about Wilkes University’s commitment to attract and support military students, visit the University website at www.wilkes.edu.