When a student leader I was working with at Central Washington University mentioned he was a veteran, I realized I had very little knowledge about the experiences of student veterans. College enrollment of veterans is increasing, and as student affairs educators it is important that we understand the strengths, needs, and challenges of this population.
The American Council on Education developed an online resource (http://vetfriendlytoolkit.org/) to help higher education institutions build effective programs for veterans and share information. The toolkit includes best practices for creating a successful veterans program, admissions and financial aid, academic and student services, and campus life. It also features profiles of student veteran programs across the country and a searchable database of tools and resources.
I hope you find this toolkit helpful in thinking about how to provide support and advocacy for students who are veterans. In addition, I recommend familiarizing yourself with the veteran support programs on your campus(es). At SU, Commuter and Transfer Student Life provides various resources to ease the transition from military to civilian life and support veterans as they embark on or continue their college experience (http://www.seattleu.edu/ctsl/veterans/).
– Caitlin Blomquist