The Takeaway | How to Support Student Veterans: A Guide for Campus Staff, Educators, and Advocates

Posted on
May 26, 2021
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In our curriculum, Swords to Plowshares has gathered lessons learned from over forty years of community-based direct services, local and national coalition building, and technical assistance programs given to veteran organizations throughout the US. The material we have gathered here points to lessons learned and a roadmap for future support of student veterans: 

  • Student veteran services are not a given—but require ongoing dedicated advocacy among those who care.  
  • Critical supports must not only be advocated for and supported by the veterans who use them but by everyone in the campus community.
  • Providing the right support to veterans requires an understanding of military and veteran culture. 
  • Communities need collaborative action to meet the needs of veterans, their families, and populations within the veteran community (women, veterans experiencing homelessness, aging veterans, students, LGBTQ+, veterans with disabilities and more). 

We hope the tools we have presented will offer a framework to adopt veteran culturally-informed practices in your work. 


American Council on Education. “From Soldier to Student II: Assessing Campus Programs for Veterans and Service Members.” Accessed:  

Cook, B.J., Kim, Y.M., McBain, L., Snead, K.M. From Soldier to Student II: Assessing Campus Programs for Veterans and Service Members, retrieved from  

Medley, J., Cheney, A. M., Grubbs, K., Abraham, T., Hunt, J., Fortney, J., Lu, L., & Curran, G. (2017). The Impact of the Psychological Sequela of Trauma on Veterans Seeking Higher Education. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 30(2).

Swords to Plowshares. “How Do Schools Ensure Veterans Succeed? A Case Study of Five Northern California Colleges & Universities.” 2019.
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