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Supporting Military Veteran Students: Early Lessons From Kohlberg Prize Recipients

By: Melinda Mechur Karp & Serena Klempin

Abstract

Supporting Military Veteran Students: Early Lessons From Kohlberg Prize Recipients

Postsecondary education participation is critical for military-connected individuals as they transition back to civilian life. The Kisco Foundation’s Kohlberg Prize, a competitive grant awarded in 2015 and 2016, is aimed at making community colleges more welcoming and better able to meet the needs of veteran students. This review details the early experiences of the five 2015 prizewinners, based on an analysis of narrative reports submitted after their first semester of planning enhanced veteran services.

The prizewinners determined that the needs of military veteran students would be well met by a single location on the community college campus that serves multiple needs and provides a variety of services. Thus, the colleges’ grant activities were geared toward developing a one-stop veterans center that provides academic, peer, career, and nonacademic services.

In the review, the authors discuss the challenges the colleges encountered in implementing one-stop centers. They also consider the relationship between efforts to create veteran-specific services and spaces and the broader community college reform trend of streamlining and integrating services across the entire college. Finally, they provide suggestions for practitioners and policymakers looking to improve supports for student veterans.