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Education and Employment Programs

In 2008, MFRI created its Education and Employment initiative (formally called Operation Diploma) to work specifically with Indiana's postsecondary education institutions, employers and student veterans' organizations (SVOs). Using a lifecycle model of support before and during school and then through the transition to employment, the initiative helps student service members and veterans achieve their academic goals and transition into meaningful employment. You are welcome to contact Lauren Runco, Director of Education and Employment or call (765) 496-6045.

Focus Forward Fellowship

The Focus Forward Fellowship, designed by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, is open to women who are student veterans or military-connected students. The 2016 Focus Forward Fellowship was held in Indianapolis, Ind., with additional web-based activities scheduled throughout the 2016-2017 academic year. Applications for 2017 will open this coming spring!

Postsecondary Institutional Support

Our Education and Employment team has built relationships with postsecondary institutions throughout Indiana and across the nation to generate awareness of the attributes, needs and concerns of student service members and veterans. We continue to offer consultation, professional development and other resources to postsecondary institutions as they work to better serve student service members and veterans on their campuses. We have also awarded more than $2.5 million to help postsecondary institutions strengthen and expand their support to student service members and veterans.
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Support to Student Veterans' Organizations

Education and Employment provides hands-on assistance to student veterans' organizations (SVOs) as they are established, grow and evolve. We engage them in entrepreneurship and other organizational functions and create opportunities for them to network and share promising practices with other organizations throughout the country. We do this by creating forums for regular discussion and exchange of ideas, both virtually and face to face; and providing a "best practices" manual. We also make grants to SVOs through periodic Business Plan competitions.

Workforce Development

Education and Employment extends the lifecycle model of support in the transition of student service members and veterans to meaningful employment. We bring together local military, the business community, professional organizations and existing campus resources to collaborate on programming throughout the sequence from military separation/post-mobilization through postsecondary education or job training and career placement. This work has generated a publication (PDF) to help employers better understand the talents veterans offer and to help candidates better communicate their capabilities to potential employers. In addition, we have produced a list of resources (PDF) for veterans seeking employment.

Generation of New Knowledge

A strategic goal of of our Education and Employment initiative is to generate new knowledge about the characteristics and needs of student service members and veterans and the resources that help them most. In April 2009, we released the first report on the state of higher education for student service members and veterans in Indiana, The Higher Education Landscape for Student Service Members and Veterans in Indiana. Subsequent surveys will include benchmarking against national data. We strive to better understand the postsecondary experiences and perceptions of student service members and veterans compared to their civilian peers with our longitudinal e-survey.
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