Strategies to Support Success of Former Veterans in College, Report 2011

The National Science Foundation provited grants to increase sucess of returning veterans with enrolling in and completing baccalaureate and graduate engineering programs.  They conducted a detailed evaluation of the grants to identity best practices.  The report was completed by Penn State University. <Click on this link for the entire report.>

Based on the researchers review of the professional literature, the following criteria emerged as being highly supportive of the veterans.  It was not expected that any institution would have all the following, but a critical mass was necessary for creating a supportive environment and warranting a field review of their programs.  The entire report provides the detailed field reports on the institutions and illustrated how they met these criteria.

  • The presence of a veteran’s office and/or on campus veterans counselors and services. Services provided by such an office might include:
  • assistance with university and Veteran Affairs paperwork
  • programs to assist students called up to active duty
  • orientation programs or programs for veterans helping them adjust to college life
  • participation in the American Council on Education/National Association of Student Personnel Administrators program for disabled vets
  • an active veterans support group
  • service available to assist veteran students with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • active lobbying efforts to improve institutional services and/or state and federal veteran support
  • other programs available to veterans and families
  • Explicit institutional focus on student veterans in the form of task forces or committees to address their needs and issues
  • College credit for military training and experience
  • College credit for standardized tests (CLEP and DANTES)
  • Faculty awareness of veterans in the classroom
  • Access to tutoring services and refresher courses
  • Easily navigable and executable procedures for students called to active duty who must exit/re-enter the institution
  • Accessible disability and counseling services
  • Flexible academic options, such as:
  • Online course offerings
  • Weekend, evening, or early morning classes
  • Participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program
  • (institutional grant aid to close the gap between tuition costs and GI Bill benefits)
  • Veteran-knowledgeable staff in other institutional offices
  • Institutional provision of transition assistance or orientation specific to veterans
  • Presence of a veterans’ student group
  • Application fee waivers for veterans
  • An on-campus military presence (e.g., ROTC)
  • Status as a Servicemembers Opportunity College