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Life can be challenging for many veterans upon returning home from active duty. In addition to readjusting to civilian life, veterans must also navigate a competitive job market, which is increasingly reliant on workers with college credentials. CAEL is active in helping veterans pursue educational and work opportunities.


Academic and Career Success for Veterans

We help you better serve the education and employment needs of veterans.
CAEL works to increase institutional and system capacity to better serve military-connected students in the classroom and to foster a supportive community on campus. We build regional affinity groups of higher education professionals to promote information exchange and cooperation, build a collective voice on policy issues and provide professional development opportunities. We also guide strategic planning for veterans’ services at higher education institutions with assistance in data collection, interviews, focus groups, surveys, report development and planning facilitation.
We provide training for faculty and academic and career advisors working at colleges and universities. Our workshops build increased faculty awareness of how student veterans contribute to the higher education classroom as well as what they may be experiencing during their transition from the military. Faculty gain practical tips on how to help military-connected students’ success in the classroom. Our train-the-trainer approach equips faculty led teams to deliver training to faculty at their institutions. We also prepare advisors to anticipate student veteran needs and capitalize on their strengths as they navigate academic options and pursue career opportunities
CAEL drives collaboration among employers who want to support veterans. We help build employer networks and facilitate their meetings to share strategies and best practices for recruiting, onboarding and retaining veterans in the workplace. In addition, we also create career pathway initiatives with higher education and employer partners that leverage military experience and training in high demand sectors.
One of our key initiatives is to promote better understanding and adoption of prior learning assessment (PLA), a method of assessing learning obtained outside of the traditional classroom for college credit. As a nationally recognized PLA expert, CAEL provides military PLA training to faculty, facilitates collaboration among groups, disseminates statewide scans of military PLA policies and practices at colleges to policy and higher education leaders. Through our policy advocacy work, we build coalitions and alliances in favor of policy to support service members and veterans.



Spotlight: Veterans Healthcare Pathways

The Veterans Healthcare Career Pathways initiative (VHCP) is one example of how we help veterans. VHCP connects Chicago-area veterans with military healthcare experience to the education they need for careers in civilian healthcare. This website guides veterans to education and career opportunities in the burgeoning healthcare sector. It also serves as a link to the VHCP Navigational Specialists, who can offer personalized guidance to veterans who have questions about their educational path. The VHCP leads a network of regional healthcare education providers to promote best practices and innovation in serving veterans pursuing healthcare careers. We also offer Returning to Learning Workshops for servicemembers and reservists as well as informal employer and college networking sessions for veterans interested in healthcare.