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SUNY Plattsburgh named 'Military Friendly School'

SUNY Plattsburgh has been honored with the designation of “Military Friendly School” for 2013 by G.I. Jobs Magazine.

Twelve thousand schools compete for this title, and only 10 percent of them make the final cut. The criteria on which each school is measured include military support on campus, the school’s level of academic accreditation and flexibility for military students.

SUNY Plattsburgh has a ROTC/military studies program, which began in 2007 and currently enrolls 24 cadets. The program is highly selective in part because cadets who graduate from the program become officers.

“They have to be well-trained and mature adults. GPA, conduct, physical fitness — the program is a big commitment,” said Lt. Col. Doug Goodfellow, chair of military studies, an adjunct lecturer in sport and wellness and a recruiting operations officer.

Once a semester the cadets attend training in Vermont and must miss class. The cadets are responsible for letting their professors know ahead of time and for staying on top of work they will miss.

“My professors have always been very supportive,” said Nick Petramale, a senior cadet majoring in criminal justice. Petramale added that he’s never had an issue with missing class for this training.

At SUNY Plattsburgh, cadets can get academic credit for basic training. They also receive physical fitness and first aid credits.

In addition, the college offers an honors seminar called Combat Memoirs: Valor, Trauma and the Ethics and Moral Psychology of War, a popular choice for the cadets.

Cadets receive a stipend every month once they sign a contract with the Army. It gives them the ability to focus more on their studies.

“The program gives you something to strive for. I’m not here just to party; I have responsibility,” Petramale said.

To receive a “Military Friendly” title, schools are also ranked on categories such as student tuition assistance and the percentage of military students enrolled.

About 45 percent more SUNY Plattsburgh students are using veteran educational benefits than did three years ago.

“The admissions office is committed to any student returning from active duty so that they can enroll here at SUNY Plattsburgh. We always have had that promise to assist whenever possible,” said Rich Higgins, the directors of admissions and associate vice president for enrollment management at SUNY Plattsburgh.

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