Five Ways to Create Success for Veterans in Higher Education (Part 1)
Colleges and universities must create environments where veterans can thrive using the highly desirable skills they obtained during service, which veterans so greatly desire to showcase. By doing so, higher education institutions will not only attract veterans to their schools, but will also retain them.
When higher education institutions create effective environments that support veteran student learning, it’s mutually advantageous for both the veteran and the university. However, trying to find solutions to this must come from the veteran’s population first.
Here are the first two of the five strategies that I find to be highly successful when it comes to developing these environments for veteran students.
1. Hire a Veteran Coordinator
Hiring a veteran coordinator who is a veteran can clear many roadblocks that universities face. When prospective veteran students want to learn about a school and how their military skills will translate toward a degree or how their benefits will work at that particular university, it’s extremely important the university knows exactly where that veteran is coming from. In the same way that a guidance counselor or college recruiter can guide a high school student toward the right school and right program, a veteran coordinator can help veterans. The veteran coordinator should preferably be previously senior enlisted or a mid-level officer, who can then act as a mentor in this process.
2. Create a Sense of Service
Providing a sense of service back into veterans’ lives can be extremely advantageous to the learning process at the university. For example, this can mean giving veterans job opportunities within the university. Schools can take advantage of the Veterans Affairs Works Studies program that is paid for by Veterans Affairs and is no cost to the university. This allows veterans to work within the university in varying capacities. Veterans can work with other veterans to facilitate new student applications. In doing this, the university will not have to hire new staff to facilitate an influx of new veteran populations and will also provide the student veteran with a sense of service to other vets.
This is the first of a two-part series by Nathan Sable outlining the five most effective strategies to creating a supportive environment for veteran students. Please click here to read the conclusion.
Author Perspective: Student