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Student veterans in higher education: The critical role of veterans resource centers.

Barmak SA, Barmaksezian N, Der-Martirosian C. Student veterans in higher education: The critical role of veterans resource centers. Journal of American College Health : J of Ach. 2021 Sep 1; 1-11.

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OBJECTIVE: To examine how veterans resource centers (VRCs) and corresponding services influence student veteran transitions by applying the Schlossberg Transition Model. PARTICIPANTS: 12 student support staff and 6 junior/senior undergraduate student veterans at a four-year public university in California. METHODS: In-depth semi-structured, one-on-one interviews were conducted with diverse group of university staff and student veterans. Thematic analyses were conducted to identify salient factors that help promote successful transition to college life. RESULTS: Overarching theme was the significance of the university's veterans resource center (VRC), which is a designated space that facilitates connectedness and student engagement; fosters collaborations across student support services via liaisons to increase access to vital services/resources on/off campus, provides peer-to-peer mentorship; and includes staff, who understand military culture. CONCLUSIONS: Higher education should expand supporting student veterans by having a VRC to help them successfully transition to college life; this would ultimately improve retention and graduation rates.

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