August 14, 2014, White House Office of Communications – In August 2013, President Obama announced the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success on Campus:” eight concrete steps institutions of higher learning can take to help student veterans succeed on campus. At that time, 250 schools had committed to implementing the 8 Keys. Since then, the number of community colleges and universities pledging their support has more than doubled with partners all across the country including the University of Michigan, Solano Community College in California, the University of Florida, eighteen members of the City University of New York (CUNY) and Texas A&M University.
Developed by more than 100 education experts in collaboration with the Administration and the Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs, the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success on Campus are specific actions that institutions of higher education can take to help veterans and service members transition into the classroom and thrive once they are there. Schools across the country are stepping up to ensure that the women and men who fought for our nation in uniform can succeed on campus, complete their college programs and obtain career-ready skills.
Now it’s time for other schools to step up in support of our student vets. To check if your school has signed the 8 Keys pledge, click here. If you are an administrator and would like to join the growing list of colleges and universities focused on providing the best environment for our student veterans, please visit the 8 Keysregistration site, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success on Campus are as follows:
· Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans.
· Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.
· Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.
· Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space for them (even if limited in size).
· Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans.
· Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention, and degree completion.
· Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.
· Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans.
Robert “Mac” McFarlin is a White House Fellow at the National Economic Council.