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Investing in Veterans: The Need for Career and Education Advising

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Federal education benefits for veterans represent a substantial investment—$18 billion since 2009 under the Post-9/11 GI Bill—in the development of a skilled American workforce. Unfortunately, this investment does not always pay off because many veterans encounter serious obstacles as they attempt to navigate the higher education system and the labor market.

 

Access to career and education advising programs would enable more veterans to successfully complete degrees and to pursue satisfying careers.

 

This paper surveys the career and education advising options currently available to veterans via military reintegration programs, web-based resources, non-profit service providers, and colleges and universities. 

 

The report concludes that additional career and education advising resources are needed—especially those available to veterans prior to enrollment in postsecondary institutions—to ensure that veterans are able to take full advantage of their federal education benefits.

 

The paper offers the following specific recommendations for helping veterans make informed choices about how to use their education benefits at each stage of the transition process:

  • Expanding the content of military reintegration programs
  • Providing Education Services Officers (ESOs) with the resources needed to advise servicemembers and veterans and to undertake collaborations with civilian organizations
  • Reaching out to and educating military families before servicemembers are discharged
  • Evaluating and consolidating web-based resources and establishing a one-stop shop for active-duty military personnel and veterans
  • Ensuring that resources remain available to veterans following their separation from the military
  • Developing the capacity of the Veterans Workforce Investment Program (VWIP) to provide education and career advising
  • Developing community-based resources focused on helping veterans choose appropriate courses of study and postsecondary institutions
  • Supporting a consortium model for educational institutions to provide unbiased career and education advising to veterans
  • Providing training to on-campus veterans clubs on education benefits and career planning resources

 

GI Bill education benefits can be a tremendous asset for veterans as they transition to civilian life. A comprehensive career and education advising program would minimize the obstacles encountered by veterans by offering guidance on identifying degree programs and career paths that fit with their skills and interests. This assistance will ensure that each veteran is getting the most bang for the education buck.

 

Complete the form to the right to download the complete report. 

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