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ERIC Number: ED344638
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Community Colleges: Key to Vietnam Era GI Bill Shortfall.
Horan, J. Michael
The Vietnam Era GI Bill was clearly influenced by the social and educational success of World War II veterans, but also reflected the policy objectives of equity and access of the 1960's. A 1987 monograph by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported that 60% of all Vietnam Era veterans received some training benefit from the GI Bill, but the survey did not address the percentage who finished their training. Other research, in fact, suggests that participation in postsecondary education using the GI Bill is problematic for Vietnam veterans, and that, despite high motivation, many veterans had a more difficult time realizing their educational goals than did veterans of previous wars. Reasons may include the following: (1) the ambiguous nature of the Vietnam War was not conducive to developing stable and mature adults, and difficult psychological and social adjustments were required of veterans returning to a critical American society; (2) the nature of combat in Vietnam led to an incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) estimated at 15.2% of all male theater veterans; and (3) Vietnam veterans received about 50% less in relative benefits than World War II veterans, forcing Vietnam veterans to work while attending college. A recent study of 1,006 Vietnam veterans found that financial constraints were the primary reason that veterans decided not to attend college on the GI Bill or discontinued their enrollment before graduation. Of those who attended college, only 47% completed their educational goals, with minority veterans and veterans with PTSD achieving their goals at even lower rates. Now that the Vietnam Era GI Bill has expired, community colleges represent the best hope for a third chance at education for Vietnam veterans, who need the caring expertise of community colleges more than ever. (AC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A