Voices and Viewpoints

New Release: Insights on Equity and Outcomes Brief, Volume 10—Community Colleges and Student Veterans

by Jacqualine Rodriguez / May 5, 2015

OCCRL is pleased to announce the release of Volume 10 of its Insights on Equity and Outcomes series. Titled The role of community colleges in offsetting challenges faced by student veterans in higher education, this brief focuses on significant challenges and opportunities facing community colleges to best serve our nation’s student veterans.

Community colleges, in particular, remain as one of the most popular postsecondary education choices among student veterans, enrolling forty-three percent of the population (Radford, 2011; Sewall, 2010). The convenience of part-time, online, and other flexible learning options make community colleges an attractive route for student veterans. This brief provides an overview of the challenges student veterans face in higher education and services that community colleges offer to accommodate the needs of student veterans. Given that Illinois has the tenth largest veteran population in the US, this brief specifically discusses emerging practices and policies community colleges in the state of Illinois have implemented as a result of the Higher Education Service Act (P.A. 96-0133). It also offers recommendations for community colleges to better serve student veterans in addition to providing recommendations for areas of future research. As stated in the brief, we hope that through such recommendations institutions in the Pathways to Results network (and beyond) become more accessible for student veterans, consequently increasing their likelihood of success as they transition from military to civilian life.

Jacqueline Rodriguez is a graduate research assistant for the Pathways to Results project at the Office of Community College Research and Leadership. Ms. Rodriguez is a PhD student in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include investigating the educational and economic mobility prospects for Black and Latino youth.

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