Identify the needs of student veterans by conducting annual focus groups.
Each campus is different in terms of student populations and their needs. Some campuses have higher numbers of veterans and military family members attending and some only have a few. What works on one campus may not work on another; there is no cookie cutter mold. Therefore it is highly recommended that institutions take the time each year to sit down with their student veterans and listen to their needs. This can be done through formal, or informal, focus groups. By giving the students a chance to express their needs the institution is gaining a more informed perspective on what will have the greatest impact, in terms of what is offered. Institutions can then decide on priority areas to focus on and increase the impact of their efforts.
Examples of Possible Focus Group Questions
- What were some of the factors that made you want to attend courses at our institution?
- Before coming to our institution, did you visit our website?
- Did the website contain most of the information you needed in order to make to decision?
- As a student veteran, how well do you feel supported by the institution?
- Are you aware of the various services that are available to you on campus (writing center, tutoring services, disability service, etc.)?
- In your opinion, what are some areas that the institution can better support you as a student and as a veteran?
King County Institutions Implementing Practice
Central Washington University, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Renton Technical College, Seattle University.
From Timm Lovitt's Promising Best Practices: Veteran-Supportive Institutions of Higher Education in King County (Veterans Training Support Center, 2013). See the full report: download pdf, 99 pages
Project provided by King County Veterans and Human Services Levy
and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.