SFU Receives $1 million to Help Veterans Earn Degrees


Veterans and military personnel will now have an easier way to finish their degree and obtain occupational licensing.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that Saint Francis University has been awarded a 3-year, $1 million dollar grant under the Veterans Accelerated Learning for Licensed Occupations (VALLO) project.

Acquired through the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation (CSOR) which is housed at the Shields School of Business, the grant allows Saint Francis University to launch the Veterans Accelerated Learning Program (VALP).

Studies have found that many veterans have a difficult time re-entering the workforce after their military service has ended and often face occupational licensing barriers. The requirements to obtain specific licenses can be costly and time-consuming, and are often a deterrent for those looking to start a small business.

Through VALP, veterans will be able to enroll in the majority of programs at Saint Francis University that require licensure after obtaining a degree. SFU’s versatile programs provide an opportunity for veterans to obtain degrees and licenses quicker and with fewer obstructions, thus transitioning into Pennsylvania’s workforce at a faster rate.

Saint Francis University was named a “Military Friendly School” for the ninth straight year. This designation reflects the high standards upheld by the university in serving military families. Francis Worldwide, a newly-launched school at SFU, offers fully online, in-person, and hybrid degrees for the convenience of adults, working professionals, and those looking to advance their career.

A priority at CSOR, a non-partisan academic research center, is to seek a better understanding of the challenges veterans face as they return to civilian life. In 2018 the state of Pennsylvania hired CSOR as its lead contractor for the 3-year DOL project, permitting the Center to spearhead the research of military spouse portability, skill set transferring, and the demographic data of PA licenses.

"Depending on your position in the armed forces, you may need to start your education and training over again to satisfy the regulation for that particular license," said Alanna Wilson, Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Relations at CSOR. "This may not only help reduce the unemployment rate of veterans but also for civilians," Wilson said. "Being able to bring different skills into the workplace that can only be obtained while serving our country can benefit the workplace. It's our duty to help serve them with something larger than ourselves in the civilian life."

Enrollment is open for Fall 2019 and admission to the VALP program is free to veterans.