Missing Perspectives Project
In 2013, IVMF launched an ambitious research project supported by a Google Global Impact Award aimed at cultivating a deeper understanding of the social, economic, and wellness concerns of the newest generation of U.S. veterans.
The project’s principal objective is to highlight the breadth and diversity of our transitioning service members and veterans in the context of their first-hand, lived experiences across multiple role identities including warfighter, family member, student, and community leader, among others. To this end, the IVMF research team developed a comprehensive multi-phased research effort to capture these experiences and identities, with a keen interest on transitioning service members and veterans considering or pursuing higher education.
The first phase of this effort commenced with a robust survey, carefully designed and distributed through multiple partners in government, higher education, the private sector, and the media. This resulted in what is arguably one of the most sweeping datasets to date representing the lived experiences of our latest generation of veterans and military families.
Specifically, more than 8,500 veterans, active duty service members, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and military-connected dependents shared their motivations to serve, and subsequently return to civilian life; their post-service academic plans, aspirations, and barriers; their academic experiences and perceptions; and their broader, yet related transition experiences. These insights are both rich and remarkable.
This initial report, aptly titled Missing Perspectives, serves as the inaugural publication in what will be a continuing series of IVMF research papers and commentary over the next year, highlighting issues and opportunities related to veterans’ transition broadly, and higher education specifically.