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About The Toolkit

Welcome to the Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions.  Created by the American Council on Education (ACE), this online resource is designed to help institutions of higher education build effective programs for veteran students and share information. It highlights a variety of best practices including veterans-specific orientation offerings, on-campus veterans service centers, prospective student outreach efforts, faculty training, and counseling and psychological services for veteran students. It also includes video clips, profiles of student veterans programs across the U.S., and a searchable database of tools and resources.

Many colleges and universities have taken significant steps toward providing supportive programs and services for returning veterans.  But what’s working, and what’s not?  How does an institution know that its efforts and resources are really making a difference?  And what does it mean when a school is labeled “veteran friendly?”  After all, the term “veteran friendly” has no established criteria and can be used as a recruiting tactic with little accountability.

ACE has learned the definition of “veteran friendly” is as diverse as today’s higher education community.  Factors such as campus culture, academic environment, student body size and composition, location and more all play a role in what programs and services characterize a “veteran friendly” institution.  Today’s colleges and universities need to define “veteran friendly” in a manner that addresses both their institution’s and students’ needs.  This toolkit aims to assist institutions in determining just that.

Recognizing that each institution has diverse strengths, needs and resources, the Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions provides a range of tools to help schools build or enhance a veterans program that is right for them.  It contains real-life examples of successful veteran policies and programs while highlighting promising practices, community resources and success stories.

ACE intends for this website to be a collaborative environment for institutions of higher education and their key audiences, including but not limited to:

  • Campus leadership and academic faculty in the U.S. and overseas
  • Federal, state and local governments especially those that play a key role in the reintegration of student veterans
  • Higher education practitioners in areas such as student affairs, veterans affairs, financial aid and career counseling
  • Student veteran support audiences and collaborators including such non-government organizations as the Student Veterans of America, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and other veteran service and/or higher education organizations

Building a program for veteran students takes time.  Building an effective program takes vision, dedication, commitment and collaboration.  And this toolkit will lead the way.