DeVry University | Preparing Students for a Career, Part 1 |
Published in the May/June 2011 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Scott Palumbo, the National Director of Military Affairs for DeVry University, fell in love with education when he was still serving active duty in the Navy. His military career took him to Boston University, where he served as an assistant professor while pursuing an MBA and counseling other students.
“Working with college students of all ages was inspiring because I realized that education was really going to open doors for them,” said Palumbo, who is also a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve. “It was humbling to be involved in the training and education of America’s next generation of leaders.”
Palumbo was fortunate to realize early on that furthering his education was necessary to realize his career goals. He said he saw a lot of friends from the military run into challenges when looking for civilian employment because while they had work experience, employers also wanted a degree.
“I knew that I needed to make my skills relevant to a civilian employer,” he said. “I had to wonder what was happening to 24-year-old E-4’s who were getting out of the military and finding out the same thing.”
Palumbo is now in a position where he can help those 24-year-olds – and others. As the National Director for Military Affairs for DeVry University, he’s tasked with helping active duty, separated, and retired military personnel, as well as their spouses and dependants further their education.
“DeVry University is career-specific,” he said. “We prepare students for a career, rather than giving them a general education and then sending them into the world. We see our education as a bridge to take both active duty and veterans to the next level.”
He said that, while a lot of the military students he sees are junior enlisted, there is also a significant population of NCO’s and officers looking to further their education. Palumbo said that’s very important. “In the current economy, the disparity between job prospects for those with high school and college degrees is rather large,” he said. “Having that education makes job hunters more competitive.”
Palumbo said military students are successful because they know only how to succeed. “Failure is not an option,” he said. “I’ve seen students who haven’t been in the military want to give up on meeting a deadline, but military students don’t give up. They have the leadership and worldliness – even if they are the same age as some of the other students – that doesn’t allow them to give up. Their sense of right and wrong as well as the respect they have for one another sets them apart.”
DeVry University has been educating students for 80 years. The original school opened in Chicago when Dr. Herman DeVry established DeForest Training School in 1931 to prepare students for technical work in electronics, movies, radio, and, later, television. During World War II, DeVry was selected to teach the Army Air Corps (today’s Air Force) instructors about electronic devices. After the war, the school was one of the first to be approved under the original G.I. Bill.
DeVry University offers associate, bachelors, and masters degree programs through its colleges of Business & Management, Engineering & Information Sciences, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Media Arts & Technology, as well as its Keller Graduate School of Management.
Palumbo encourages anyone who is interested in pursuing higher education to check out the DeVry University’s web site at www.military.devry.edu. He said the site will direct the student to one of DeVry University’s 90-plus locations or its online programs. There are also advisors available specifically for military students. They are in place to help the students find the right program as well as help them with the G.I. Bill and other military benefits.
“Most of our military advisors either served in the military or are a military spouse,” Palumbo said. “Whether the student needs a degree or just a certification, this team will help the student get where they need to go. DeVry University is 100 percent career-focused and will help our students be competitive for the job they want.”