When Services Exist, Veterans Thrive in the Classroom, Study Finds

Despite concerns that some veterans might not succeed at college, new research shows that where support services for veterans exist, those students do well in the classroom, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The new analysis, "Completing the Mission II: A Study of Veteran Students' Progress Toward Degree Attainment in the Post-9/11 Era," looks at student veteran progress toward degree attainment in the Post-9/11 GI Bill era.

The study, which tracked 741 student veterans at 23 colleges and universities, found that, during the 2011-12 academic year, the veterans stayed enrolled, posted solid grade-point averages, completed nearly all of the credits they pursued, and counted more than a few aspiring engineers and businesspeople among them. Additionally, every college reported having an on-campus veteran coordinator and a student-run veterans club or association. More than 80 percent give credit for military training and have a website or web portal for veterans.

Among the services on the rise, the report says, are having an on-campus counselor who is trained in treating students suffering from traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Wendy A. Lang, director of Operation College Promise and the report's lead author, said the goal was simple: "Now that we know these schools are providing these services, how are their students progressing?"

With the Post-9/11 GI Bill now in its fifth year, and the number of beneficiaries topping one million, calls for reliable data have increased, the Chronicle reported. Recently, Google announced a $3.2 million grant to four organizations to support national research that will assess student veterans' academic performance and determine what kinds of campus-based programs are most effective in helping them.


Related Links

Completing the Mission II: A Study of Veteran Students' Progress Toward Degree Attainment in the Post-9/11 Era


The Chronicle of Higher Education