On the occasion of the 21st anniversary of 9/11, Western Governors University (WGU) invited military families in Central Pa. to a picnic at the Harrisburg Senators baseball game on September 9 at FNB Field on City Island. Co-hosted by the USO, the evening activities included giveaways, in-between innings games, a raffle and other contests, and fireworks sponsored by WGU.
On the reason for the event, Strategic Partnerships Manager for Military Outreach Tunisha Miles, of Fredericksburg, Va., said, “As an Active Reservist for the U.S. Air Force, I know the sacrifice made by our military members, their spouses, significant others and other family members. Being away from family and friends is hard.
“Hosting this baseball game was a small way of saying ‘Thank You’ to our military and their families.”
In fact, 70+ military members and their families from Fort Indiantown Gap and surrounding bases attended the game, including Active Duty, National Guard members, Reservists, Veterans, and family members to watch America’s favorite pastime. State Senator John DiSanto, who represents part of Dauphin County, including Harrisburg, and all of Perry County, also joined the festivities.
Another important way we can honor the sacrifices of the men and women who have dutifully served our nation is to provide access to a quality college degree program. With 13% of students affiliated with the military, WGU is ranked #1 in the category of online Military Friendly® schools. While there are abundant options for a traditional college education, for many veterans or active-duty military personnel, completing a college degree can seem impossible. But it does not have to be.
Competency-based education allows students to accelerate through their learning at their individual pace, fitting their studies into the spaces of their lives and measuring their skills and subject knowledge rather than time or “hours” spent in a classroom.
Tunisha said, “Our competency-based programs offer the flexibility that military students need and allow students on average to finish in half the time of conventional universities.”
For many of WGU’s more than 14,000 military graduates and their families, the ability to utilize the military’s financial assistance is a strong consideration in deciding to enroll at WGU. Every degree program offered by WGU is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs for all education benefits offered under the GI Bill.
Said Tunisha, “Our low, flat-rate tuition means less student debt. Being able to get a quality education at an affordable rate is a win in my book!”
At WGU, every incoming student is assigned a Program Mentor, a faculty member who provides one-on-one guidance throughout their studies. Program Mentors help students create a course plan for each term, to stay on track to complete their degrees.
“Whichever degree program you choose and whatever career goal you set when you enroll at WGU, your Program Mentor will be there to help you succeed,” Tunisha said.
WGU offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the in-demand career fields of business, K–12 teacher education, information technology and health professions.
Tunisha said, “I love my job because I love being a resource for our military students to get a college degree, seeing their eyes light up when I explain about WGU. I also love when I meet alumni who share with me their excitement about being a WGU graduate. I know the university makes a real, positive difference in many lives.”
Since 2002, Tunisha has served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and is attached to the 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. As a reservist, she is chief section lead responsible for overseeing the Community Service Section and serving as training manager within the 916th FSS Unit.