Engaging Veteran Stakeholders on Campus

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THE CHALLENGE: By the year 2020, over 5 million service members are expected to transition out of the military and enroll in colleges and universities. This is a huge increase from 2017, with approximately 800,00 student veterans (approx. 4% undergrad students).  Many of the transitioning service-members will be leaving a military base where the family support services were centrally located (on base) for physical and mental health, career development, employment and social interaction. Many times, this transition from base to civilian life can be a stressful one with resources, and services, that are geographically dispersed and sometimes can be unreliable or costly.

According to a study done by the American Council on Education (ACE), the average student veteran is 25 years old and faces unique challenges with age, financial responsibilities and employment while attending school. Within the student veteran population, 42% work full-time, 44% are married and 52% have children. This creates student population which has difficulty acclimating to the college lifestyle and may have a negative impact on the students’ socio-emotional needs of achievement of desired academic goals. Conversely, those schools offering   pre-enrollment support combined with on-going support services have enjoyed a noticeable impact with enrollment, retention and graduation rates while others have increased their program offerings and sponsorships with corporate and non-profit partners.

A-G Associates addresses university challenges by using evidence-based data to effectively design programs that will drive recruitment, retention, graduation, and post-college opportunity rates. Success in these areas generate increased grant funding and revenue to maintain university academic and professional success. A-G uses a unique key influencer mapping process to identify key stakeholder groups, and the most impactful ways to engage those groups. This process allows our clients to focus on the most impactful action steps, and groups, to ensure the necessary components are in place to achieve success.

THE SOLUTION: 

THE RESULTS:  Effective stakeholder analysis creates an understanding about the people who will be affected and the return on investment for initial expenditures for program improvement or creation. Examples success of include:

  • In 2009, Syracuse University created the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) with service to over 40K veterans and military spouses. IVMF generated corporate sponsorship from large partners like JP Morgan Chase, Wal Mart and Verizon.
  • George Washington University is ranked #4 for top Veteran Friendly Schools for 5 consecutive years because of veteran innovation programs which have led to partnerships with NASA, Army Research Lab and Department of Agriculture.
  • Babson College created programs in 2012 which increased enrollment by 18.3% and expanded their international footprint.
  • In 2013, the University of Baltimore was awarded $2.45M from the Bob Parsons Foundation for its Veteran Rec Center.
  • Since 2009, the Wal-Mart Foundation has awarded grants for $100K each to 20 schools.
  • In 2017, The Newman Foundation awarded $6.7M non-profit organizations (including schools) that support veterans with education and entrepreneurship.

OUR STORY:  A-G Associates is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned and Minority-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB/MBE), certified by the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) and the State of Maryland.  A-G was founded in 2008, by Chris Gonzalez, a Marine Corps Veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Dr. Peg Anthony, a recognized expert in the field of organizational/management consulting with over 40 years of experience. Since 2008, the A-G Team has grown significantly to include subject matter experts that provide high-quality consulting services to our clients. A-G has been recognized for its outstanding service by earning awards such as the Bridging the Gap Award by Greater Baltimore Committee and the Future 50 Award by Smart CEO magazine for 50 fastest growing companies in Baltimore area.

We begin each engagement by analyzing the needs of each client, understanding each one is unique, and keeping their goals in mind. A-G serves as a resource to our clients to help develop, or refine, their strategic direction and goals, then work collaboratively to help develop the organizational capacity to achieve them. This includes small and large team development, stakeholder engagement and communication strategies, and managing all aspects associated with organizational change.

Our work is a reflection of our commitment to service – to our clients and to our community. Our efforts have a positive impact on the organizations we serve. The chart below represents organizations that A-G has served as clients, partners, members on the Board of Directors, or as volunteers/donors.: 

We serve leaders who want to improve their own—or their organization’s—capabilities or capacity. We provide advice, expertise, facilitation, and support services in collaboration with our clients to build high performance teams, manage change, and achieve mission success and organizational excellence.  Our services are sought by progressive organizations that:

  • Value teamwork, partnership and stakeholder engagement,
  • Seek innovation, enlightened management, and responsible stewardship, and
  • Commit to delivering exceptional mission outcomes, memorable service, and enduring impact in our communities and our country.

To discuss this topic further, please visit A-G’s website at www.a-gassociates.com or contact Chris Gonzalez, PMP at cgonzalez@a-gassociates.com

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