OVV Toolkit | Student Veteran Surveys

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Student Veteran Surveys

First Step BEFORE Drafting or Sending Surveys: Determine why your institution has Veterans Services, programs, policies, and individuals/offices. The main answer to that question should guide your institution's efforts for all things  veterans and military. The institutional overall effort will undoubtedly include many things like social adjustment, social interactions, individual academic course success and tutoring, navigation through appropriate channels and processes, attainment of proper VA and DoD benefits, and correspondence to questions and information on application, admissions, financial aid, and registration. Yet, there should be an overall driving theme such as academic success & graduation or transitioning to a successful college student and civilian. If your institution doesn’t know this and adhere to it, your institutional surveys may just be measuring meaningless data for your students and your institution.   


SAMPLE SURVEYS – Examples of student veteran surveys and assessments below include those ranging from basic to quite extensive assessments, such as University of Arizona. Look at this as a sample of the various ways a survey may be designed based on the data that are intended to be collected.


How to Construct a Survey:


Items to Consider When Constructing Questions:

  • Demographic Information – Sex, age, race/ethnicity, veteran status (active, guard, reserve, combat, etc.),marital status, dependents, etc.
  • Academic Support and Services – Are services being utilized (academic advising, success coaching, tutoring, supplemental instruction, etc.)?; Are you aware of services?; What services are missing?
  • Credit for military training and experience – Did you receive any military credit? Did the credit apply toward your degree? Were you required to go through an appeals process for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)? How could we better evaluate your credit?  Was the appeals process explained to you? Was any assistance offered for the appeals process, if you were not pleased with the decision?
  • Transition Assistance (internal and external resources) What internal and/or external services have you utilized (counseling center, local vet center, career services, county service commission, etc.)?; Which of these services did you know or not know were available?;  Do you know of, or did you use, others (What were they)? 
  • Website – Do we need a separate website for veterans?  Did you use the website before arrival?  Was it helpful?;  What should we strengthen or add to it?;  What internal and external links would be helpful to add?;  What links/areas did/do you use the most?
  • Veteran Lounge – Do you think it is a good idea?;  Where on campus would you like a veteran student lounge?; What would be helpful to include in the veteran student lounge?; Have you utilized the current lounge available to you?; Would you take advantage of a lounge?; Are you comfortable in the space? Why or why not?; Would you move the current lounge?  Why?
  • New Student Orientation or Briefing – Did you find the orientation program helpful? How can we make the program better?  What are we missing that you feel is vital?;  Is there overlap with the academic or transfer orientation?; Is that good or bad?
  • Veteran Affairs Office Set-up, Staffing, Student Workers, Usage, and Satisfaction with Office Services. – Questions around veteran student workers, VA certifying official, veteran contact – Do you prefer they are a veteran or non-veteran? How can the veteran affairs office collaborate across campus to provide better services? Satisfaction with GI Bill benefit processing, assistance with the VA, other questions related to processing benefits and correspondence with the VA.  Are the hours and location acceptable?  Where would you put a potential office for best usage?  Is the current office missing any staff that you feel is required?
  • Student Group Participation and Initiatives – Are you interested in becoming involved with our campus student veteran group? In what activities or community projects might you participate?  Do you participate now—Why or why not?  Do we need one—Why or why not?  Would you be willing to take a leadership role (Add contact info)?
  • Campus Environment – Do you feel welcomed on campus?; Would you categorize our school as veteran-friendly? What improvements can be made on campus to demonstrate our commitment to veteran student success?;  Please describe the academic/classroom environment for veterans?  How well do Student Services and Student Life serve you as a veteran and adult student?  What is needed?
  • Faculty and Staff Support and Assistance – Do you feel supported by faculty in your classes? Would it be valuable for faculty and staff who are fellow veterans to have a symbol on their name badge or in their offices identifying themselves as a veteran?; Would it be valuable for faculty and staff who are fellow veterans to have a symbol in their offices identifying themselves as a veteran?; Are classes offered at a convenient time?
  • Other– Would you interested in wearing a red, white and blue military honor cord, or other designation, during commencement?
  • State of Ohio Support and Initiatives – Are you aware of the GI Promise?; Have you heard of Ohio House Bill 488?;  Did you know about In-state tuition rates for military/veterans/family members in Ohio?; Why did you choose an Ohio school?;  What else could the state do across the board for veterans at all public colleges/universities?
  • Additional topics for survey questions could include 1.  Admissions process, 2.  marketing and outreach, 3.  healthcare assistance/referral, 4.  family situations, 5.  day care, 6.  others.  Your campus and your student-veteran population should drive this!  Ask them what is important to them and then survey that topic.


Additional Considerations:

  1. Consolidating surveys rather than piecemeal survey after survey.
  2. Take into account the length of time it will take to complete the survey.
  3. Follow up with small focus groups.
  4. Research further in significant problem areas.
  5. Assess short- and or long-term projects/solutions.