This set of case highlights examined key factors leading to or hindering student-veteran program performance at San Diego State University, the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of South Florida, and Florida State College Jacksonville.
To best assess program impact, the research team compared descriptions of each program’s goals, objectives, and delivery models against three data types:
- Administrative data from performance reports,
- Post-program survey data, and
- In-depth interviews with program administrators.
Based on the programs’ achievements, challenges, and lessons learned, the results are formulated into a list that can be utilized by college and university administrators interested in establishing or growing student veteran-support programs; by funders interested in veteran higher education and initiative; and by the research community with interests in promoting student veteran success in the college and university environment.
- Sustainability is a key issue for many of these programs – threats to sustainability can include resource depletion (financial or other) as well as cross-organizational relationships that have been disrupted because of staff turnover.
- Volunteer engagement can be sustained and made more effective through a more individualized peer mentorship programs.
- As these cases demonstrate, many student veteran support programs are in their infancy. Program administrators, researchers, and funders all face the dilemma of evaluating program impact without adequate data.