What are the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success?

When it comes time to take the next steps toward earning a degree, the process can be harder for veteran students transferring from military life to the life of a college student. Finding a college or university that commits to what the Department of Education refers to as the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success” is imperative to meeting higher education goals. What are these 8 Keys? Read on to learn what to look for in a learning institution does to make veterans success a priority in their mission.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill

8 Keys To Veterans’ Success

According to the Department of Education, the voluntary initiative of the 8 keys includes:

  1. Creating a community and culture of “trust and connectedness”. This provides opportuities for both the success and well-being of veteran students.
  2. Ensure that campus leadership offers consistent support to students.
  3. Prevent education challenges from becoming overwhelming by creating and implementing an “early alert system”. This ensures that veterans have access to career, academic, and financial advice before these challenges become too much to handle.
  4. Create, coordinate, and centralize veteran-related campus efforts, and designated space, regardless of university size.
  5. Identify local organizations to communicate and collaborate with, including local communities to coordinate for services for veteran students. This can include government agencies.
  6. Collect and track information on veteran success. This should include retention and degree completion, as well as demographics.
  7. Give faculty and staff information, training, and tools for professional development regarding the unique challenges faced by veterans working towards personal and educational goals.
  8. And lastly, colleges and universities should create and implement systems that better ensure sustainability of effective practices for veteran students.

Benefits of the 8 Keys

According to a popular college blog, the types of issues veterans face when chasing their dreams for higher education are not limited to simply not having a place to gather and work together to achieve these goals, they also don’t feel they have the support of their institutions’ administration, and even face ridicule from other students. It is really no wonder that the drop-out rate for veterans attending college has been, and remains, so staggering.

The 8 keys has many benefits, including, but not limited to, encouraging administration to better support their veteran students  and providing these students with the support they need from their student bodies. Other benefits include opportunities for student leadership, comraderie, as well as improved resources available to all students, whether they have served in the military or not. By taking a stand, the universities and colleges that commit to the 8 Keys are showing their student bodies that they take the learning and success of all of their students seriously, regardless of the obstacles they face.

By implementing the 8 Keys of Success for Veterans, colleges and universities are paving the way for veteran students for generations to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by their GI Bill. Where many for-profit colleges have been accused of providing veterans with useless college degrees for the sake of cashing in on this bill, the institutions who commit to this voluntary initiative are showing they want nothing more than for their students to make the most of their resources.