Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE): Implementing a sustainable peer support program for student veterans on college campuses

Michelle Kees, Brittany Risk, Chrysta Meadowbrooke, Timothy Nellett, Jane Spinner


Student veterans have been attending college in greater numbers since the passing of the Post/9-11 GI Bill. Although similar to other nontraditional students, student veterans face unique transition challenges that can impact their pursuit of higher education. Many student veterans could benefit from dedicated programs to help them succeed in college, which in turn would enable them to secure employment in the civilian world. Facilitating the success of student veterans also makes wise use of the financial and institutional resources invested in their education. Peer support programs can help by providing an established community of other student veterans who can normalize transition experiences, offer social support, reduce stigma associated with help-seeking, and connect to useful services on and off campus. This paper describes the iterative development of a nationwide peer support program for student veterans, Peer Advisors for Education (PAVE), which uses trained peers to provide outreach, support, and linkage to resources to assist student veterans. Through a hybrid technology platform for training and program management, PAVE has been delivered on 40 college campuses nationwide and is well-positioned for larger scale national rollout.  


Peer support; military transition; peer program development; Post 9-11 GI Bill

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