Earlier this week, the Student Veterans of America (SVA) announced their findings from their Million Records Project which analyzed Veteran completion rates among other demographic information.
Through the project, SVA provided an important voice in the effort to track and report on the academic outcomes of Veteran students. VA and the National Student Clearinghouse partnered with SVA to provide the necessary data for this research project.
For those of you using Facebook, the event was posted on the VBA site; https://www.facebook.com/VeteransBenefits (this site typically provides some very good topical and current information for Veterans, I encourage you to ‘like’ it to keep yourself posted and current.) Additionally, the event was posted on the VA blog (http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/13506/veterans-in-higher-education-americas-smart-investment/) which provides you a great overview of the report and the event.
Some of SVA’s initial findings showed that Veteran students:
- Are nontraditional students whose academic paths are shaped by military service
- Persist in their education despite numerous challenges, completing at levels comparable to the general population
- Are largely enrolling in and graduating from public schools
- Pursue high-growth, high-demand fields
- Use benefits to achieve higher levels of education
These results and future research in this area will help inform best practices on campuses aimed at increasing success for Veterans. SVA’s complete report can be found online at http://www.studentveterans.org/what-we-do/million-records-project.html#data. I encourage you to take a look at it.
The findings validate what we already know about Veterans – they are motivated, focused, and regardless of the odds, continue to persist and achieve. This report is another piece in the matrix of Veteran economic success.
As well, this is a great example of a Public/Private partnership and provides a validation of an evidence based approach to this national conversation regarding Veterans. It is also a reflection that neither VA nor any other single group is doing it alone. Our partnerships in the past several years have been critical, and projects such as this demonstrate why we need to continue to grow and strengthen are partner relations.