Campus named a Pennsylvania National Guard-Friendly School

ROTC cadets
ROTC cadets presenting the colors

Pitt-Bradford is one of 30 colleges and universities named to the initial group of National Guard-friendly schools by the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations.

            The PNGAs made the announcement at its annual awards celebration Friday, Nov. 8, in Lancaster.

            “Guardsmen have unique responsibilities that active duty troops and reservists do not have, and this creates different challenges for them when pursuing a degree,” said retired Brig. Gen. George Schwartz, chairman of the PNGAs Education Council.

            “These 30 schools have made a deliberate effort to be flexible, accommodating and supportive of guardsmen-students and deserving of recognition.”

            Statewide, the Pennsylvania National Guard provides educational assistance program funds (nearly $32,000 per guardsman) to students at 488 eligible schools. At Pitt-Bradford during the 2018-2019 academic year the National Guard provided $64,888 to students for educational expenses.

            Three years ago, in order to make the best use of educational benefits provided by the National Guard, the PNGAs started collecting and sharing best practices among colleges, universities, trade, certification and training schools.

            Kathy Fabrizi, executive director of PNGAs, said that the associations found “many examples of inflexible, intolerant and unfair practices against members of the Guard.”

            The associations' education council began working last year to create the PNGAs Guard Friendly School designation to encourage National Guard-friendly practices.

            Pitt-Bradford offers military science classes through the U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps Seneca Battalion at St. Bonaventure University in nearby Allegany, N.Y. Entry-level ROTC classes taught by National Guard instructors are available on the Pitt-Bradford campus for a student's first two years.

             After that, students travel to St. Bonaventure to take advanced leadership courses with juniors from all six colleges in the Seneca Battalion: Pitt-Bradford, St. Bonaventure, Alfred State SUNY College of Technology, Alfred (N.Y.) University, Houghton (N.Y.) College and Jamestown (N.Y.) Community College.

            Pitt-Bradford students serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard are able to drill monthly with Company C Armory at the nearby Bradford Regional Airport.

            For more information about the Pennsylvania Army National Guard at Pitt-Bradford, contact Robert Dilks, assistant vice president of enrollment management, at 814-362-7693 or dilks@pitt.edu.