Can Peer-Led Support Services Help Veterans Stay in College?

Army private Edurado Arceo, of Pamona, Ca., studies for his General Educational Development certificate in a new Army program dedicated to helping high school dropouts earn their GEDs before they move on to basic training Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008, at Fort Jackson, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

About one-third of veterans who take advantage of the education benefits offered by the Veterans Affairs Department eventually drop out of college or other training certificate program, often overwhelmed by the challenges faced in transitioning from service member to student.

Now a new study led by a health services researcher at the University of California, Riverside offers a solution: support services led by fellow veterans. The program would not only connect student veterans to resources and healthcare services but also to other veterans who are experiencing the same transition from military to school.

“Peer-led supportive services offer veterans a sense of community and have the potential to increase retention rates and help ensure academic success,” said lead author Ann Cheney, an assistant professor in the Center for Healthy Communities in the School of Medicine.

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