posted on July 09, 2018 09:46
What’s next for student veterans? Moving from transition to academic success. (2017). David DiRamio (Ed.). Columbia: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, 219 pp. ISBN- 978-1-942072-10-2
Review by: Amber DePree, M.Ed., IUPUI-Ivy Tech Coordinated Programs Passport Office, IUPUI and Ivy Tech Community College, firstname.lastname@example.org
Student veterans bring a variety of experiences and perspectives to a higher education institution setting. As editor of What’s next for student veterans? Moving from transition to academic success, DiRamio organized a wide range of student veteran research and best practices into this book to demonstrate the power of not only quantitative data but qualitative data to understand the holistic perspective of a student veteran’s experiences and intersectionality of their many roles in a higher education setting. DiRamio (2017) referred to the research in What’s next for student veterans? Moving from transition to academic success as the second wave of student retention research on student veterans in higher education due to the book’s concentration on data in relation to academic success factors such as persistence, retention, and degree completion. The research and best practices highlighted in the first ten chapters of this book focused on 21st Century student veterans in higher education, making this a great read for student affairs professionals wanting to learn more about student veteran experiences and strategies to best support these students.
The book discussed several topics related to student veterans in higher education including working with this student population in a community college system, peer support opportunities, and research studies on engagement of and challenges disabled student veterans may face. Some authors provided thought provoking questions at the end of chapters to start the reader’s thinking process about what is happening at the reader’s home institution in relation to helping, assisting, and most importantly advocating for student veterans. DiRamio (2017) provided a succinct overview of the books ten chapters and also highlighted the following seven suggestions for future research: 1) staffing needs and collaboration, 2) faculty and staff training, 3) transfer credit for military schooling, 4) workforce preparedness, 5) related subpopulations, 6) mental health and substance abuse, and 7) educational equity (p. 179).
This book is ideal for professionals in a student veteran office setting within a higher education institution as it is research and data heavy. An academic advisor can find the research, brief introductions to student veteran issues, and best practices very encouraging to better understanding how this student population identifies, what services they need, and how to best advocate for them to help them persist. As the book does not directly address advising best practices in relation to working with this population, academic advisors may not gravitate towards this book right away.
As previously mentioned, research surrounding the field of student veterans is in its early stages and there is much still to learn in years to come about this student population’s experiences and needs on a college campus and developing unique ways to provide support and advocacy for this student group. DiRamio and his colleagues have certainly created a strong foundation for sharing best practices and suggesting next best steps to further scholarship about this student demographic.
DiRamio, D. (Ed.). (2017). What’s next for student veterans? Moving from transition to academic success. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.