As a college counselor, what you do matters to student veterans. Transitioning from the military to a civilian campus, and from campus life to work life is difficult for many veterans. Your work can be pivotal to their success.
This Toolkit helps higher education counselors effectively assist with student veterans with launching their careers, including veterans with disabilities and women veterans
A key factor in a college’s success in graduating student veterans is whether the school provides a veteran-appropriate counseling service. This issue has recently gained media attention, as some colleges have been widely criticized for seeing student veterans as “dollar signs in uniform.” These colleges have been accused of recruiting veterans, collecting their GI Bill benefits, and then failing to provide the supports they need to graduate and transition to employment. Student veterans have, however, persevered. Generally, the 1 million student veterans attending college in 2019 were at least as likely as other students to graduate, despite the fact that they were more likely than non-veteran students to attend schools with overall lower graduation rates.
Providing student veterans with effective support involves understanding that they face different challenges than those faced by typical students: They may be adjusting from military culture to campus culture and be negotiating large, complex bureaucracies while making this adjustment. They are on average older than traditional college students and more likely to be parenting while attending school. They may be dealing with a service-connected disability. They may face disruptions in their college programs if they are deployed. And they are more likely to have prior work experience. These and other characteristics call for an expanded set of skills for college counselors.
This toolkit links to the downloadable Veteran’s Career Planning Workbook, which you can use with students to structure career planning.
You can begin with any of the following tools:
- About Student Veterans — What career counselors most need to know
- Veterans with Disabilities — Transitioning to employment with a disability
- Women Veterans — Unique needs and challenges
- Making Sense of It All — Laws, services, and programs that touch student veterans
- Career Reconnaissance — Supporting veterans in exploring career choices
- Making a Plan — Crafting a customized plan for the campus-to-career transition
- Connecting with Employers — Building bridges for student veterans
 Klaw, E., Young, B., Li, K., & O’Rourke, P. (2021). Best practices in serving college student veterans: A scoping review.
 Marcus, J. (2017, April 21). At some colleges that recruit veterans and their GI Bill money, none graduate. The Hechinger Report.
 Hill, C., Kuizweil, M., Pisacreta, E., & Schwartz, E. (2019). Enrolling more veterans at high-graduation-rate colleges and universities. Ithaka S+R.
 Steele, J.L., Salcedo, N., & Coley, J. (2010). Service members in school: Military veterans’ experiences using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and pursuing postsecondary education. RAND Corporation and the American Council on Education.