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ACE Launches Enhanced Online Toolkit for Institutions Serving Student Veterans

September 11, 2013

Veterans Toolkit

Participants will benefit from blogs and interactive discussion boards featuring experts on student veteran issues

​ACE today launched an enhanced online Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions featuring blogs and interactive discussion forums for participating institutions and furthering ACE’s mission of supporting higher education programs that ensure veterans are college- and career-ready.

The upgraded Toolkit provides new tools for colleges and universities working to build effective programs for student veterans. Experts on student veteran issues, including high-ranking federal officials, will be blogging on the site and answering questions from participating institutions as part of the new interactive forums.

Upcoming expert bloggers include:

  • Robert Worley, director, education service, Department of Veterans Affairs—Sept. 30
  • Kathryn Power, strategic initiative lead for military service members, veterans and their families, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—Oct. 14
  • Michael Dakduk, executive director, Student Veterans of America—Nov. 11

The Toolkit, located at www.vetfriendlytoolkit.org, is an interactive online resource to help colleges and universities build effective programs for student veterans, create profiles that highlight services available on campus and share information with peer institutions.

The new features are supported by a $758,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to help deploy technical upgrades to the Toolkit, such as social media elements. These features will also allow ACE to design evaluation tools for institutional awareness about the need to serve student veterans and look at higher education’s capacity to provide these types of programs and resources.

The Toolkit was initially launched last year with the support of The Kresge Foundation. The site already has had more than 35,000 unique visitors and more than 1,200 active users representing almost 700 institutions. Colleges and universities using the Toolkit have shared nearly 500 resources on the site to highlight different veteran-friendly services available on campus and to share information with other institutions.

An ACE survey of participating institutions found that more than three-quarters of respondents felt the Toolkit helped in identifying student veteran needs, and nearly three-quarters indicated their knowledge of student veteran issues had increased since becoming Toolkit users. 

“The Toolkit already has spurred a collaborative learning environment for hundreds of institutions that are striving to ramp up their programs and services for student veterans,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “Thanks to the generous support of The Kresge Foundation, the Toolkit will begin offering more interactive resources and expert advice that will better enable colleges and universities to share and put into effect diverse ideas for how to serve student veterans in ways best suited to each institution’s mission.”

“As a nation we are grateful for the sacrifices and contributions that our veterans have made,” said William Moses, program director for education at The Kresge Foundation. “We know this Toolkit will ensure that veterans benefit fully from a college education and career preparation – and that the investment the country is making in veterans will have long-term benefits in creating a better educated workforce and more globally competitive economy.”

The Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions is part of ACE’s Veterans Programs, which aim to promote access to and success in higher education for the more than 2 million service members and their families who are eligible for benefits under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The initiative is comprised of grant-funded programs seeking to find, develop and disseminate promising practices in serving student veterans in higher education and promote awareness of this population’s needs. These projects continue an ACE tradition of helping to ensure service member and veteran success in higher education.

ACE Contact: Jon Riskind ▪ 202-939-9453 ▪ jriskind@acenet.edu 

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