ASQ - Education Division

Promising Practices for Engaging Student Veterans

Abstract: This Quality Approaches in Higher Educaiton article is authored by by Michael J. Kirchner and Lia Coryell of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Susan M. Yelich Biniecki of Kansas State University. Service members transitioning into post-secondary schooling face a new, unfamiliar challenge from previous battles. Student veteran graduation rates are being questioned as are their education benefits. Across the country, student veteran organizations and resource centers are being established, though their contribution on campus for military-students needs to be explored. At the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, two graduate students, with support from their academic advisor, began a grassroots operation that led to the formation of a student veteran organization, a military and veterans’ resource center, and professional development opportunities for academic staff and faculty to learn more about student veterans on campus. As this paper suggests, the more engaged student veterans are in their campus, the higher the quality of their education experience, thus making them more likely to be retained and earn degrees. An assessment of the challenges identified by veteran students is included in the article.

Keywords: Best Practices - Quality Approaches in Higher Education - Student Support - Career Development

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