This collection brings together valuable insights from nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies that work directly with veterans in communities across the country. The works collected here provide a deeper understanding of the problems many veterans and their families face and also potential solutions to address these very real challenges. The collection is broken into five key areas where veterans are facing obstacles and where nonprofits and foundations have been focusing their efforts.

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"Soldiers" by Adam Baker licensed under CC NC 2.0

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Academic Recognition of Military Experience in STEM Education

June 1, 2013

Recent calls for increases in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education attainment and veterans' education success have created a platform for examining how veterans with military experience in STEM fields can more efficiently complete postsecondary education and training.The American Council on Education (ACE) military evaluation program provides credit recommendations for military courses that align servicemembers' training with postsecondary curricula and competencies. These recommendations,if accepted as transfer credit, can decrease the time it takes servicemembers and veterans to complete STEM certificates and degrees.Numerous challenges exist in considering military credit recommendations for postsecondary courses and degrees. The process is complex, requiring an acute understanding of military transcripts and the resources and tools available to assist institutions of higher education in awarding credit for military training. Additionally, misinformation and lack of awareness regarding the content, scope, and rigor of the ACE review process and resulting credit recommendations create resistance to awarding credit.Successfully increasing acceptance of military credit recommendations at institutions of higher education can be achievedthrough public-private partnerships between colleges and universities, federal agencies, workforce development experts, and other key stakeholders using available resources and tools to build degree pathways that accurately map military training to STEM courses.An education campaign about the ACE review process and the value of the resulting credit recommendations will also help eliminate the stigma surrounding credit awarded for prior learning, and boost support among leaders and institutions for increased acceptance of military credit recommendations. This approach will lead to the developmentof best practices and, ultimately, increases in both STEM attainment and veterans' education success.

Education & Employment

From Soldier to Student II: Assessing Campus Programs for Veterans and Service Members

July 1, 2012

The United States is in the process of bringing more than 2 million service members home from Iraq and Afghanistan and reducing the size of America's military. Today's veterans are the beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which has provided unprecedented financial support for attending college. More than 500,000 veterans and their families have utilized Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits since the law's enactment in 2008. Many returning veterans -- as well as service members in the active and reserve components of the armed forces -- will enroll in higher education to enhance their job prospects, achieve career goals, expand their knowledge and skill sets for both personal and career enrichment, and facilitate their transition to civilian life.How well prepared is higher education to serve these new students, and what changes has it made in response to the first wave of Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients on campus? Despite the long history of veterans' education benefits and presence of veteran students on campus, current research is still catching up to the veteran and military student population. This report represents the second assessment of the current state of programs and services for veterans and service members on campuses across the nation, based on survey results from 690 institutions.

Education & Employment

Promising Practices in Veterans' Education: Outcomes and Recommendations from the Success for Veterans Award Grants

October 7, 2011

This is an evaluation of the Success for Veterans Awards program, and includes reports from 20 grantees.

Education & Employment; Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

Accommodating Student Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Tips for Campus Faculty and Staff

June 1, 2011

Service members and veterans transitioning from deployment to higher education bring with them a degree of maturity, experience with leadership, familiarity with diversity, and a mission focused orientation that exceed those of nearly all of their peers. They may be expected to emerge as campus leaders; to enrich any class focused on history, politics, or publicpolicy; and to serve as an engine for innovation on their campuses. However, many veterans acquired these assets at great personal expense, including battlefield injuries.Cognitive injuries are among the most prevalent of these battlefield injuriesfor today's returning service members. By some estimates, individuals who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan have as much as a 40 percent chance of acquiring such an injury by the time they have completed their service. Predominant among these cognitive injuries are traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Consequently, to allow and encourage this transitioning population to realize the greatest gain from postsecondary education, campus faculty and staff must recognize the potential learning challenges associated with these invisible injuries and make adjustments or implement accommodations to help ensure their students' academic success.To support faculty and staff who seek a better understanding of TBI and PTSD, this guide focuses on functional limitations commonly associated with these conditions and provides forms of classroom accommodations and modifications, also known as academic adjustments, responsive to these limitations. However, this information should not be divorced from the bigger picture, that individuals with combat-related TBI and PTSD will see themselves not as individuals with disabilities, but as veterans and service members. Campuses that are already well-prepared to serve veterans and service members in general will have far less need to specifically adapt to persons with cognitive impairments than campuses that have developed few veteran-specific programs or resources.

Education & Employment; Health & Well-being

Service Members in School: Military Veterans' Experiences Using the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Pursuing Postsecondary Education, Summary

November 1, 2010

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, which took effect in August of 2009, significantly increased the higher education benefits available to eligible individuals who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces after September 10, 2001. The result is the most generous education benefit for veterans since the original GI Bill of 1944. However, the new array of benefits is also more complicated to administer than benefits offered under the existing Montgomery GI Bill, resulting in numerous first-year implementation challenges. To better understand these challenges from the perspective of students and higher education institutions, the American Council on Education (ACE) asked RAND to survey and conduct focus groups with veterans and eligible dependents and to interview higher education administrators. This report, which was made possible by ACE and the Lumina Foundation for Education, presents results of the study, describing not only students' and institutions' reported experiences with the new benefits, but also students' experiences transferring military training to academic credit and adapting to life on campus.

Education & Employment

Military Service Members and Veterans in Higher Education: What the New GI Bill May Mean for Postsecondary Institutions

August 27, 2009

Provides an overview of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, its potential effect on college enrollment among current and former military personnel, the characteristics of military undergraduates, and the issues they face.

Education & Employment