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Veterans Education Benefits Explained in Online Orientation Platform for Veteran Students

Onboarding Experience Eases Transition from Military Life to Student Life

Veterans Education Benefits Explained in Online Orientation Platform for Veteran Students

Travis Simpson, Veterans Affairs, Gwinnett Technical CollegeVeteran students most pressing questions about veteran education benefits are now easily explained with in an online orientation platform. Travis Simpson, M.Ed., coordinator in the Office of Veterans Affairs and an FYES Instructor at Gwinnett Technical College (GTC), provided subject matter advice to develop, test and launch the online orientation platform for veteran students.

Gwinnet Tech is located in Georgia, about 45 minutes northeast of Atlanta. It was the first technical college in Georgia to provide dedicated enrollment services for all qualified veterans, their spouses, and dependents. The college is ranked nationally in Military Times® and Military Friendly®. Since Gwinnett Tech already had an Advantage Orientation® for all new students, Travis wanted to explore ways to use this cloud-based system to increase his office’s capacity to serve the growing number of veteran applicants. He recognized online orientation as a virtual solution to personalize the orientation process just for veterans while achieving greater efficiencies of scale.

Answers to Veterans’ Questions

What do veterans coming to college care about most? “When veterans come to Gwinnett Tech, one of the first things they ask us is ‘I’ve got the GI Bill®. What does it cover and how do I get it going?’” It was critical to address the questions veterans ask most often while empowering them with practical and incremental information to enable progress toward enrollment. The priority was to help veterans understand how to maximize their educational benefits right away.

Adaptable Content

With Travis as our subject matter expert, our team set about to give the program structure and to compose direct, relevant, and empathetic messages. Design, imagery, videos, and screen content, were developed to help veterans learn the language of higher education, see themselves succeeding in college, and feel understood. The result is both content unique to Gwinnett Tech and universal content relevant to any veteran, active military, their spouses, or dependents at any higher education institution.

Personalizing the Student Journey

Each Chapter of the GI Bill® is different, so veteran students can create their own journey to explore information relevant to their situation. This series illustrates how Advantage Orientation’s “self-directed content” functionality enables individual exploration.

Self-Directed Content

Self-Directed Content Detail

A Self-Directed Content Track allows veteran students to identify a Chapter of the GI Bill® they would like to learn more about.

Selecting a topic leads to more detailed information about that particular Chapter, what it covers, how it applies, and the process to renew it.

Integrated or Independent Online Orientation Platform

Travis chose to launch an independent platform composed of six sections to align with Gwinnett Tech's organization and internal enrollment processes. Each section includes videos that speak directly to veterans and features professional talent filmed in our studio. In addition, the content addresses Financial Aid and the GI Bill®, followed by Support and Student Life information. "It's essential veterans know what kind of help is available and how to find it, as well as ways to connect to a community and form bonds as they had while in the military," Travis said.

Successful Transitions

Today, Gwinnett Tech’s Veterans Online Orientation has served over 150 student veterans, helping them to transition from military life to student life successfully. How do we know? The platform’s built-in survey tool captures student feedback and points to ways content can be updated or improved. Here’s what confidence feels like to veterans transitioning to college:

“The online orientation gave me step-by-step details on what to do and where to go to get enrolled and have all my documents needed to apply to this school.”

“The videos were short and thorough. They provided advice on how the college supports its Vets and the steps we need to take to be successful.”

“Whoever put this online orientation together did one helluva job, great work! Every question was answered!”

Give Veteran Students a Better Start

Because of Advantage Orientation’s adaptable framework and intuitive content management system, the Veterans Online Orientation module can be easily inserted into an existing Advantage Orientation® or can perform as an independent (stand-alone) platform. Either way, personalized and relevant content can be served only to veterans and presented within any institution’s Branding requirements. The module can be launched within weeks and includes unlimited training to give campus administrators complete content control.

Learn More

Preview and request access to a webinar recording with Travis.

Sample video content from the platform.



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