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Colleges’ Experiences Integrating Support Services for Military Veterans

By: Melinda Mechur Karp & Serena Klempin

Abstract

Colleges’ Experiences Integrating Support Services for Military Veterans

To improve the educational experiences and outcomes of student veterans, the Kisco Foundation developed the Kohlberg Prize in 2015. Two cohorts of colleges were awarded competitive grants to enhance their veterans services.

This piece examines the process of creating integrated services for student veterans through the institutionalization of one-stop veterans resource centers, drawing on information provided via winners’ responses to standard application and narrative reporting templates. The authors identify key challenges inherent in integrating services. Some of these—for instance, those related to budgets and staffing—are practical. Others are philosophical, highlighting different approaches to service integration and perhaps calling into question the best way to serve specific populations within complex institutions and communities.

The authors highlight several approaches colleges took to integrate support services for student veterans, weigh the pros and cons of different approaches, and share observations that may benefit other community colleges as they think through the best ways to support their own military-connected students.