Missing Perspectives: Servicemembers’ Transition from Service to Civilian Life

In 2013, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), with help from INSCT, launched an ambitious research program, supported by a Google Global Impact Award, aimed to cultivate a deeper understanding of the social, economic, and wellness concerns of the newest generation of US veterans.

Missing_Perspectives_Report_CoverThe research program’s principal objective is to highlight the breadth and diversity of our transitioning servicemembers 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 servicemembers 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, private sector, and the media. This effort 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 servicemembers, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and military-connected dependents gave their time to take to share 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.

The project’s initial report—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.

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Participation

You can still participate in the Service to Student and Serving Student Veterans surveys:

Survey 1: Service member to Student Survey: Veterans’ Perceptions of Transition, Higher Education, and Success (launched May 2014) has received more than 8,500 responses thus far—making it one of the largest and most comprehensive datasets on veterans’ experiences in higher education. This survey was designed and disseminated to gather information on service members and their families’ educational experiences, challenges, and pathways to post-service success, including STEM education. All military service members (active duty, reserves, guard, veterans) and their families are eligible to participate. To take the survey, click here

Survey 2: Serving Student Veterans: Programs, Policies & Practices for Servicemembers’ Success on Campus, (launched September 2014) is designed to understand veteran administrators’ perspectives on student veterans’ academic success on their campuses.  This survey gathers information from institutions of higher education about the methods and processes; challenges and successes in serving military service members throughout the entire education life cycle. These included the cycles of recruitment, enrollment, and inclusion in campus life, and veteran – specific programs and services, career services, professional development, alumni relations, and STEM-focused curricula and career opportunities. All higher education institutions are eligible to participate. To complete the survey, you may either use the fillable PDF form (click here to download PDF) or complete this form and an online survey link will be emailed to you.

Contact Contact
Corri Zoli, Director of Research
300 Dineen Hall | 950 Irving Avenue
SU College of Law, Syracuse NY 13244
cbzoli@syr.edu | 315.443.4523