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Why Veterans Succeed in College Now More Than Ever Before

Blog Columbia Southern

In the past, graduation rates for veterans were significantly lower than those of traditional students. However, a major 2011 study by the Student Veterans of America revealed that the opposite was true. In fact, veterans are graduating at a rate close to that of more traditional students: an average 51.7 percent for veterans in comparison to 59 percent for other students, as of 2011, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In some branches of the armed services, graduation rates are even higher. Air Force veterans, for example have the highest graduation rate of all the military branches at 67 percent.

Clearly, veterans are succeeding in college more than ever before. Colleges have made great strides in eliminating many of the barriers that have stood between veterans and their academic success, and continue to find ways to provide more support for their needs.

What’s Holding People Back?

Most researchers involved in the analysis of veteran’s issues in education note that the challenges that veterans face are similar to those faced by nontraditional students, such as those who return to school after several years in the workforce or who have financial or family obligations that keep them from devoting all of their attention to school. However, former military personnel also have unique challenges including PTSD, social or financial challenges. These are just a few of the obstacles that veterans have historically faced when seeking education. However, many colleges and universities have taken steps to become more military friendly, and develop degree programs for veterans that ensure their success.

How Colleges Are Helping

Colleges and universities have recognized the challenges facing their military veterans, and are developing programs and resources to support their success.

For example, many colleges are opening veteran’s centers designed to provide guidance and support in all aspects of the transition from military to civilian life. Some universities are also offering more flexible options for earning degrees that better align with veterans’ needs and preferences. Online classes, fast track degree programs that offer credit for skills and education gained in the military, and open or rolling enrollment schedules are just some of the ways that universities are offering flexible options and making it possible for veterans to fit education in with their other responsibilities.

Above all, veterans are succeeding in college due to a growing acceptance of their presence and value to the overall college experience. In short, veterans are quickly becoming an important part of the student population, and schools are doing more to provide the support they need.

To learn more about the benefits for veterans at Columbia Southern University, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Military.

Military Connection: Elections Based on Vets Issues: By Debbie Gregory

electionsThe political advertising campaigns on television and radio, as well as the signs filling our street corners, tell us that it is election time. Every year, we hear how great a candidate is and what his or her stances are. Elections in 2014 have a whole new arena that politicians are jumping on the bandwagon for, and you might want to know your candidate’s position before casting your ballot.

For decades, concern over the state of Veterans healthcare was limited to the Veteran community. But the revelation of deficiencies and misconduct within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has generated widespread sympathy for Veterans among the American public. Voters are more sensitive than ever about the treatment of Veterans, and politicians must address the concern of their constituency if they want to win their elections.

This summer, Congress approved a $16.3 billion Veterans care bill. But according to campaign media analysis, there have been more political ads concerning care for Veterans since Labor Day than there were between January 1st and September 1st of this year.

Analysts claim that there have been over 42,000 television spots aired that mentioned Veteran issues. By comparison, only 14,000 ads mentioned equal pay legislation for women, and less than 7,000 ads mentioned terrorism.

This trend may lend some conscientious voters to consider whether their candidate is truly concerned with Veterans affairs, or jumping on the bandwagon in search of votes. Veteran issues are now among the top campaign concerns of 2014, along with employment, healthcare and the economy.

Every American 18 years of age or older should cast their vote this election day. Voters should take the time to educate themselves on the candidates, proposed legislation, and other concerns in the election. To research all incumbent congressional candidates, voters can utilize www.house.gov  and www.senate.gov to find their elected leaders, and see how they have been voting as your representative. For those candidates challenging the incumbents, internet searches can give you sufficient information regarding each candidate, just as long as you read sources beyond the candidates’ personal websites.

As you do your research on your candidates, please pay special attention to congressional candidates’ views on Veterans issues, especially incumbents running for reelection. If their stances or previous votes are not how you would vote, maybe you should consider voting for their opponent.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Elections Based on Vets Issues: By Debbie Gregory