Expanded Co-op Program Creates Opportunities for Veterans at SJU
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
by Colleen Sabatino '11 (M.A.)
Beginning this semester, military veterans enrolled in Saint Joseph’s University’s Haub Degree Completion (HDC) program are now eligible to participate in the Haub School of Business Cooperative Education program (Co-op), which connects students with full-time, paid work opportunities.
SJU’s Yellow Ribbon status, which indicates acceptance of government educational benefits, and cooperation with the Post-9/11 GI Bill made it possible for the co-op program’s director, Todd Krug, Ph.D., to extend this opportunity to more of SJU’s veteran/student population, which had previously been open to full-time undergraduate day business majors only.
“Several of my students who are veterans expressed their struggle with transitioning from the military to the business world,” says Krug, who teaches an adult learning seminar through the management department. “As director of the business school’s co-op program, I began to think that I could do something about this, and opening up the program to veterans majoring in business was a perfect solution.”
"The Haub School of Business has been totally supportive of veterans initiatives,” says Ralph Galati ’70 (USAF), director of veterans services. “The co-op program is yet another demonstration of our commitment to veterans.”
In January 2016, Military Times named the Haub School the top university in the Philadelphia region for the second consecutive year among its “Best for Vets: Business Schools 2016,” with a No. 58 ranking.
Marine Corps veteran R. Anthony Pandiscio (sergeant, USMC) is one of the first students enrolled in the expanded program. A business intelligence and analytics major, Pandiscio is participating in a co-op with TMNA Services, LLC, the shared services company to Tokio Marine North America, Inc., headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
“As an adult student and a veteran, my experience is different,” says Pandiscio, whose eight-year service in the Marines included five deployments. “I spent the formative years of my life fighting for freedom and saving lives; at the end of the day I was fulfilled by serving my country and I want to find fulfillment in my next career.”
“The faculty here have been very understanding, the program is flexible and the added benefit of the co-op offers experience in the corporate world, which for me, and a lot of vets, is something I didn’t have,” he adds.
One of the founding members and former president of SJU’s student veterans association, Pandiscio is eager to see the University’s veteran life and population grow. He says SJU’s flexible, accredited degree programs and veteran-friendly services and staff that help decipher benefits and adapt to civilian life, now combined with the opportunity to be placed with co-ops, make SJU a great option for veterans.
“When I finished my time in the military, I already knew what I was going to do next, but I think I’m an exception. Lots of vets feel really lost when they get out,” says Pandiscio. “SJU and co-op could be a beacon for those guys.”