2017 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students

February 09 – February 11, 2017
Washington, DC (Hyatt Regency Washington)

The NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students will focus on effective strategies to serve and support the success of veterans and other military-connected students.

Register Online


Military-connected students comprise a growing population in higher education, and are those who enroll in postsecondary education with current or prior service with the military and their dependents. These students are also diverse in terms of demographic characteristics and service backgrounds, placing an important role on student affairs professionals and leaders to develop comprehensive, targeted, and meaningful support services to encompass the needs of these unique students. The Symposium provides opportunities for professionals and other stakeholders to share and learn ways to effectively support military-connected students.

This 2.5 day symposium features keynote sessions; research, policy, and best practices presentations; and workshop style sessions to help campus professionals develop or enhance their programming and services for military-connected students. We are delighted to host this year's symposium in Washington, D.C. Symposium attendees will have opportunities to discuss program ideas, trends, current research, and theory. 


This professional development event started at the University of Louisville eight years ago under the leadership of Tom Jackson and Frank Mianzo, then the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Chief of Staff for the Office of the President for Student Affairs, respectively. In February 2014, NASPA was honored to assume planning and hosting duties at the request of the University. The 2015 NASPA Veterans Conference boasted over 240 participants and 40 different programs. In 2016, the event changed its name to more accurately reflect the population of students served by attendees and more closely align with trends in research and policy.

  • More History

    The NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students evolved from the University of Louisville Veteran Symposium for Higher Education that had been conducted in Louisville, Kentucky for the first six years of the program. Under the University of Louisville’s direction, the conference grew from a small one-day conference into the premiere conference on student veterans with over 200 participants in its final years. The University of Louisville transitioned host responsibilities to NASPA after the 2014 Symposium to provide a national forum for the institutional policy, programming, and concerns of military and student veteran populations.

    The symposium was envisioned by Tom Jackson, a military veteran, and Frank Mianzo. At the time they envisioned the program, Tom Jackson served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Frank Mianzo served as the Chief of Staff for the Office of the President for Student Affairs, both at the University of Louisville. It was their desire to host an annual program that focused on issues related to student veterans while bringing together colleagues committed to serving student veterans. With the program planning and general assistance of Kathy Snead from Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, Shirley Hardy, Laura Mercer, and Glenn Gittings from the University of Louisville, the symposium flourished each successive year.

    NASPA is grateful for the University of Louisville’s focus and leadership on this important area of higher education and looks forward to continuing the growth and development of the conference to best serve the professional development needs of those who work with our student veterans and other military-connected students.


Presented By


This event is most likely to influence these groups.

  • AVP or “Number Two”
  • Faculty
  • Graduate
  • Mid-Level
  • New Professional
  • Senior Level
  • Undergraduate
  • Vice President for Student Affairs


Let others know you are coming!

Use this hashtag to see what others are sharing #NASPAsmcs

Call for Programs

This year's call for programs is now closed. Thank you for all of your submission!

The symposium content advisory committee seeks proposals that effectively advance the field of student affairs in work with military-connected students.  Presenters will be asked to identify the content level of their session; foundational, intermediate, or advanced. Additionally, the symposium content advisory committee will select programs based upon the programs' relationships to the symposium themes, which are based on the symposium themes and learning outcomes.

Sign-up to review program proposals

Our program proposal review process is critical to the success of the symposium. We encourage you to sign-up to be program reviewer here. For detailed instructions on how to sign-up, check this document.

Conference Themes & Suggested Topics

  • Veterans 101

    ​Sessions in this theme will contain substantial content in one of the following areas:

    • Identify unique characteristics of military affiliated students in higher education

    • Understand and develop critical programming components which enable military affiliated students’ success, including organizational structure

    • Identify possible barriers to programmatic success and develop strategies to offset these challenges

    • Establish supportive professional relationships with those seeking to begin or expand military affiliated student programming in Higher Education

  • Supporting sub-populations within the military-connected identity

    ​Sessions in this theme will contain substantial content in one of the following areas:

    • Identify multiple sub-populations within the military connected identity and their unique challenges

    • Understand the importance of multicultural competence when serving military connected students

    • Understand the inter-sectionality of identity and the relevance to student veterans and other military-connected students why it matters to student veterans and other military-connected students

    • Understand underserved racial/ethnic/religious groups, women veterans, LGBTQIA experiences and develop supportive programing

    • Identify challenges of supporting students with families

    Identify, understand and develop strategies to address the needs and challenges of military connected students with cognitive and physical challenges, mental health challenges, including post traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), and alcohol or drug abuse/addiction

  • Unique, effective campus programs

    ​Sessions in this theme will contain substantial content in one of the following areas:

    • Define, identify, and leverage unique campus programming that meets the needs of military-connected students

    • Identify and create partnerships to address relevant issues for military-connected students through internal and external partnerships

    • Create evidence-based programming and appropriate assessment tools to measure success and relevancy

  • Career Readiness

    ​Sessions in this theme will contain substantial content in one of the following areas:

    • Identify processes to prepare military-connected students for the workforce

    • Articulate how  military-connected students experiences translate to a civilian career path

    • Summarize on and off campus resources to support military-connected students in planning a career trajectory

    • Identify methods for engaging military-connected students in identifying a major that aligns with their values, skills, and interests

  • Community Engagement

    ​Sessions in this theme will contain substantial content in one of the following areas:

    • Recognize the value of collaborative connections and resources on and off campus for holistic support services of veteran students

    • Understand the importance of promoting the value of veterans in the community, both on and off campus

    • Anticipate potential barriers to military-connected student success in the community

  • Academic Advising

    ​Sessions in this theme will contain substantial content in one of the following areas:

    • Build an academic advising infrastructure that meets the needs, and supports military-connected students utilizing benefits

    • Recognize the effect of state and federal education benefits on the successful enrollment and persistence of military-connected students

    • Identify faculty and staff to be involved in supporting the academic advising needs of military-connected students on campus and in what ways

    • Define promising techniques for student engagement and success in the academic advising arena

  • Assessment and Research

    ​Sessions in this theme will contain substantial content in one of the following areas:

    • Understand practices to assess needs and/or outcomes of campus-based services to support military-connected students

    • Identify strategies to integrate assessment into practice to support military-connected students

    • Describe research findings as they relate to supporting military-connected students 

Submission Timeline
  • October 28, 2016
    Call for Programs Deadline
  • November 11, 2016
    Presenter Notifications
  • December 8, 2016
    Presenter Orientation

Writing Tips

Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.


Please contact NASPA if you have any further questions about submitting a program proposal for the 2017 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students.

Jake Frasier
Assistant Director of Educational Programs
Phone: 202-719-1180
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


The schedule was designed to provide participants with interactive and engaging programming, opportunities for deeper discussion, and networking. 

Full Schedule

Thu, Feb 09

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Pre-Conference Workshops
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
Conference Welcome & Opening Keynote
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Concurrent Sessions I
2-years to 4-years: Easing the Transition
Cartographers of Credit: Mapping Military Education and Training to College Degrees
Recognizing Connections: Shared Learning and Development Approaches in Postsecondary and Military Education
Welcoming Veterans: A Holistic and Collaborative Approach to Student Veteran Transitions
3:45 PM – 4:45 PM
Concurrent Sessions II
Best Practices to Supporting and Connecting with Student Veterans on Campus
The Veteran Lounge: Understanding the Enigma
Evaluated Credit for Prior Learning—A Blessing or Curse for Military-Connected Students?
To, Through and Beyond...Establishing Impactful Military Programs on Campus: Understanding the Challenges & Completing the Mission
Digging Deep: Using Qualitative Research to Uncover the Stories of Student Veterans
DePaul University: Veterans Transition to Careers
Students Supporting Students: How Military-Connected Student Support Can Be Student Driven
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Town Hall
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Networking Reception

Fri, Feb 10

7:45 AM – 8:15 AM
Continental Breakfast
8:15 AM – 9:30 AM
Keynote Panel with MG Rob Worley II, Keith Huber, and Marc Barker
9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
Concurrent Sessions III
Engaging Women Veterans on Your Campus
Assessing Faculty/Staff Perceptions of Military and Veteran Students
Veteran Student Sub-Populations & Academic Success
Follow the Money: Post-9/11 GI Bill Finance Issues
"Gangway Third Phase!" Striving Towards Meaningful and Comprehensive Engagement of Student Veterans
Meaningful Management of Employer Opportunities
Student of Concern Team: Essential Coordination with Your Campus Veterans Office
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Mini-Institutes (90 Min.)
Blueprint for Success: Making the Case for Comprehensive Services on Campus
Effectively Supporting Civilian Career Transition for Military-Connected Students: Defining the Ways in Which Student Affairs Professionals Can Maximize Their Available Resources
Surviving and Thriving as an Underrepresented Student Veteran at a PWI
H.R. Insider Tips To Creating Community Engagement That Drives Student Veteran Employment
Stories Can Save Us: How to Tell Yours and Help Military-Connected Students Tell Theirs
Military Cultural Competence Training for Faculty and Staff
Michigan and Ohio – Partners in Valuing Military-Connected Students
Lessons Learned and Adaptive Strategies: Reducing Barriers for Veteran Nursing Students
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Lunch & VKC Awards
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Concurrent Sessions IV
Buy-In: The Increasing Need to Justify Supportive Programming for Student Veterans
Federal Policy, Higher Education, and the Path Forward
Staying Sharp as a Professional: Working with Veterans, Tools and Strategies
Successful Pathways for Navigating Transition and Service Connected Disabilities within Higher Education
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Concurrent Sessions V
Focus Forward: An Evidence-Based Fellowship Engaging Women Student Veterans Beyond the Classroom
Combating “-ism’s” In Your University Veteran Center: A Case Study
What Are the Biggest Challenges Student Veterans Experience on Campus?
Support of the Whole Student Veteran
Spartan Warrior Yoga
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Concurrent Sessions VI
Veteran Services in an Academic Department: Faculty & Staff Working Together to Promote Veteran-Student Success
Factors Influencing Veterans’ Decision Making When Selecting a College
Fundraising 101: Tactics, Techniques, and Tips for Campus Veteran Service Professionals
From Benefits to Completion: Student Veterans' Educational Attainment at Texas Community Colleges
Connecting Student Veterans
Do Ask, Do Tell: The Continued Impact on Student-Veterans
Veterans In Motion: Enhancing the Mind, Body, and Soul of Veterans with Support of the VA Adaptive Sports Grant Program
5:15 PM – 6:15 PM
VKC Social

Sat, Feb 11

7:45 AM – 8:30 AM
Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Panel Discussion - Supporting Military-Connected Students: Non-profit Success Stories
9:45 AM – 10:30 AM
Concurrent Sessions VII
Creating Sustainable Relationships On and Off Campus
Internships, Career Preparedness Experiences: Veterans Employment Trajectory (VET) Initiative
Valuing Military Learning: A Guide to Military Prior Learning Assessment and More
Supporting Military Students on a Small Campuses
When There Are No Advocates
Pathways for Military Students Making the Transition to the Civilian Workforce
Operationalizing Retention Research: Using Tinto’s Model to Design Military-Connected Student Programming
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
Closing Keynote Speaker

Pre-Conference Programs & Events

Pre-Symposium workshops will be held from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2017. You may register for any of the Pre-Symposium workshops by following the registration link above.

Serving Veterans and Other Military-Connected Students 101

Thursday, February 9th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

View More Details

This session is designed for the many Symposium attendees relatively new to their positions in Veterans Services. The program's content will be focused on evidence-based practices from experienced presenters with insightful perspectives. Participants will leave with a strategy to implement upon their return to campus that will help facilitate the founding of initiatives to support student veterans and other military-connected students on campus. 

Cody Nicholls, Assistant Dean of Students - The University of Arizona

Serving Veterans and Other Military-Connected Students 201

Thursday, February 9th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

View More Details

This session is designed for Symposium attendees well-seasoned in their positions in Veterans Services. The program will focus on establishing advanced practices to include: expanding programming, goal setting, benchmarking, fundraising, and sustainable student leadership, In addition, participants will walk away understanding ways to influence the national dialogue surrounding serving Military-Connected Students in higher education.

Janine Wert, Director of Veterans' Services - University of Massachusetts Lowell


Registration as a member is based on individual membership status. If you are employed by a college or university that is a NASPA institutional member, you can join as an individual member at the $75 rate. This gives you the conference registration and a year of membership for less than the non-member registration fee.  If your institution is NOT a member, then you will need to join at the associate affiliate rate of $242 and pay the individual member rate for conference registration. Visit the Membership section of the NASPA website to learn about membership types. For information on group rates and registration policies, please click the Registration Policies button.

Register Online

Registration Fees

before 12/16/2016
12/16/2016 to 01/16/2017
after 01/16/2017
NASPA Member
NASPA Student Member
Pre-Symposium Workshop


Tonya Murphy
Membership Coordinator
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 202-265-7500 ext. 1183

Tiki Ayiku
Senior Director of Educational Programs
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 202-265-7500 ext. 1184


View Registration Policies

Cancellation:  The cancellation deadline to receive a refund is December 11, 2016, less a $50.00 administrative fee.  All cancellation and refund requests must be received in writing.  No refunds will be given after this date for any reason.  All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing to refund@naspa.org .

Group Registration: NASPA offers discounts for attendees registering in groups of two or more individuals. To apply for this discount please contact NASPA at events@naspa.org . Please include in the email your name, the conference you're registering for, your institution name, and how many individuals you're registering. Our membership department will contact you once they've received this information.

Purchase Orders: Purchase orders will NOT be accepted for registration. There is now a Bill Me option online if you need to submit paperwork to your accounting office to have a check cut for your registration payment. Please use that option when registering online.

Registration Questions? Contact the NASPA office at 202-265-7500 or via e-mail at events@naspa.org .


We are thrilled to welcome three prestigious speakers to the Symposium on Military-Connected Students.

  • Lisa Jaster

    Lisa Jaster

    Senior Project Engineer - Shell Oil US Army Reserves - Major, Engineer

    Speaker Bio

  • MG Robert M. Worley II

    MG Robert M. Worley II

    Director, Education Services - Department of Veteran's Affairs

    Speaker Bio

  • Dr. Betty Moseley Brown

    Dr. Betty Moseley Brown

    Associate Director of the Center for Women Veterans - Department of Veterans Affairs

    Speaker Bio


If you would like to exhibit at or sponsor the 2017 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students please fill out the exhibitor application form and e-fax back all 3 pages to 202-204-8443 or scan and e-mail to skesek@naspa.org by January  6, 2017. Questions? Contact Szymon Kesek by phone at 202-903-0657 or via email at skesek@naspa.org.


Hyatt Regency Washington

Hyatt Regency Washington
Washington , DC

All conference activities will take place at the Hyatt Regency Washington

NASPA has arranged special room rates for conference attendees at the Hyatt Regency Washingon starting at $217/night (not including 14.5% state and local taxes). The cut-off date to receive the conference room rate is Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Rooms in the conference block may sell out prior to the cut-off date so please make your reservation as soon as possible.  Took book your reservation online,  please click the "book your hotel room now" button below. To book a room by phone, please call 1-800-233-1234 and reference "NASPA Student Affairs Admins".


Hotel Room Rate/Night
Hyatt Regency Washington
400 New Jersey Ave NW Washington, DC 20001
$205 - Single/Double
  • Travel

    Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is the nearest airport to the Hyatt Regency Washington.

  • Transportation

    The Hyatt Regency Washington is about 5 miles (12 min) away from the Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA).

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