Student Veterans of America

aka SVA   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.studentveterans.org

Mission

To provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education to, through, and beyond graduation.

Ruling year info

2008

President and Chief Executive Officer

Jared Lyon

Main address

1012 14th St NW Suite 1200

Washington, DC 20005 USA

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EIN

26-1971279

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Community Coalitions (S21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Leadership Institute

The Leadership Institute is a three-day leadership immersion program for 101 of the best chapter leaders at SVA. Identified as leaders in their SVA chapters, campuses, and communities, participants will be coached by mentors on the importance of leadership behavior, personal branding, how to deliver results, and fostering relationships. Mentors include SVA alumni with at least 10 years of professional experience and guest speakers include leaders in higher education, government, veteran organizations, and business.

After participating in the Leadership Institute, each chapter leader will be ready to more effectively lead student veterans, work with faculty and university leadership, and engage with their communities. They will gain knowledge of SVA's narrative of success which promotes the next “greatest generation” of American leadership. Each graduate will establish ongoing support through a network during the rest of their academic life and as they begin their careers.

Each will: Know their most impactful personal value set much better. Have a significantly increased understanding of how personal values directly support and reinforce their leadership ethos. Have a defined personal leadership vision that directly supports the "why" behind their ethos. Have a defined action plan to see their vision come to fruition. Have an established and ongoing support and follow-up framework to ensure they can communicate with fellow participants, facilitators, and thought leaders as necessary.

Population(s) Served

Student Veterans of America’s Research Department works to inform the public, stake holders, policy makers, and others on student veteran and military connected students topics and concerns through empirical research.

Externally, we do that through partnerships with other organizations and departments. In 2014, SVA in partnership with the National Student Clearing house (NSC) and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) published the Million Records Project (MRP), a groundbreaking report conveying the postsecondary academic outcomes for one million of this generation’s student veterans. In the Spring of 2017, we expanded upon the success of MRP, with the same partners, publishing the first in a series of reports on the National Veteran Education Success Tracker (NVEST).

Internally, we use surveys and program evaluations for data collection and improving programs. SVA’s research team conducts an annual Census web survey, SVA Spotlight, providing detailed demographics of student veterans and military connected students. We are also testing an internally developed instrument to measure the status of our chapters allowing us to better support them.

SVA enjoys a multi-year grant from the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. in support of our Student Veteran Educational and Employment Decision Tree Initiative. The three-year research initiative will explore the decision-making process for separating service members, with the intent of identifying potential opportunities and barriers to a successful transition from college into the workforce. The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. supports the people of PwC when in need and invests in emerging solutions to society’s greatest challenges in education and humanitarianism. In addition to seeking out non-profits with courageous breakthrough ideas, the Foundation complements PwC’s efforts to engage the people of the firm, offering partners and staff a flexible set of opportunities to create value for their communities and for each other. People are at the heart of their mission and theories of change.

Population(s) Served

Part of SVA’s mission is to advocate for student veterans. We defend the GI Bill and support policy that best empowers student veterans to achieve their educational goals. SVA is largely recognized as the premier organization representing the interests of student veterans and GI Bill beneficiaries due to the 1000+ SVA chapters on campuses nationwide. The more chapters in the network, the more effective we are at influencing policy on behalf of all student veterans.

At the federal level, SVA has formed a close relationship with the two of America’s largest and most honored Veteran Service Organizations: The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Collectively, we are working on a number of issues, but specifically to reduce GI Bill benefit delays, improve access to consumer education tools, and to establish in-state residency status for all GI Bill beneficiaries.

SVA also encourages and trains chapters to be advocates on campus to institutionalize programs and policies that support student veterans. Each chapter has the potential to be a catalyst for local change. Great examples of SVA chapters advocating for supportive services include, Florida State University, the University of Arizona, the University of Southern California, and many others.

Population(s) Served

SVA’s national conference or “NatCon”, is the organization’s premier annual event that convenes over 2,000 student veterans and leaders from all sectors across the nation. NatCon serves as a springboard to build communities on over 1,500 campuses, to drive action and change, and to shape and advance the narrative that student veterans are the leaders we need to solve the complex problems of tomorrow. The 90+ breakout sessions, three general sessions, and closing awards banquet provide an opportunity for SVA attendees to be recognized for their work, inspired by each other and our speakers, to share best practices, and to align with SVA’s national initiatives, while taking key messages back to their peers on campuses across the nation. The event affords attendees time to network with each other and provides an environment in which ideas can be exchanged and lifelong connections will be made.

Population(s) Served

SVA’s Summits Series connect SVA chapter leaders to SVA nationally, to other chapters and chapter leaders, and to resources that improve the higher education experience of student veterans. Summits teach chapter leaders to build, run, and sustain chapters on over 1,500 campuses nationwide. Summits are held regionally to facilitate local connection to other chapters, to the local community and community-based organizations, and to business and industry partners. Each of these connections matters to the SVA chapter, to SVA chapter leaders, and to SVA chapter members. The connections strengthen the educational opportunity for student veterans and to their peers who have never served. These connections bridge the military-civilian divide, bring together people who have a strong interest in their communities and regions, and create networks that transcend higher education. Summits build initial connections to SVA chapter leaders and chapter members who will become alumni and remain in communities, connected to career and service opportunities.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SVA's main objective is to increase the graduation rate of military veterans pursuing postsecondary degrees or certificates and empower them to find rewarding careers that match their aspirations.

SVA's five-year strategy, informed by RAND Corporation and Gates Foundation research, identifies three types of barriers to student veteran degree attainment: administrative, reintegration, and academic. Administrative challenges are linked to accessing federal benefits and navigating confusing on-campus bureaucracies. Reintegration issues arise as student veterans try to develop a new identity and sense of belonging after military separation. Academic struggles typically stem from being out of a classroom for long periods due to military service.

Over the next five years, SVA will implement five strategic initiatives that provide holistic support to student veterans, thus empowering them to overcome these three types of challenges and earn post secondary degrees or credentials.

Not only was SVA founded by and for student veterans, but the chapter network has grown from the original 20 groups to more than 1,500 institutions of higher learning in all 50 states and 3 countries overseas. We are the only organization in the nation with a network of on-the-ground service providers that are keenly aware of transition challenges because they experienced them first-hand. As the organization has grown, so too has our ability to effectively advocate for and deliver programs to student veterans.

SVA also has 11 years of experience managing affiliate chapters and training student veteran leaders to change the landscape of higher education. The Leadership Institute Series is SVA's main program that trains chapter leaders to create business plans for their organizations. SVA's staff, which is comprised primarily of former student veterans, understands the challenges of running a chapter and has experience operating prior Leadership Institutes and Summits.

While SVA has made tremendous progress across the five strategic initiatives, the results of the Million Records Project (MRP) is perhaps of greatest significance as it is an indicator of the organization's total impact. The analysis indicates strong postsecondary outcomes for the current generation of student veterans. A majority (51.7 percent) of student veterans in the sample earned a postsecondary degree or certificate, despite the challenges they face. At both the two- and four-year degree level, the majority of veterans who graduate do so within four and five years respectively—a rate similar to the traditional student population.

In addition the research findings, SVA has been very successful in building strong chapters. Not only have we increased the network to more than 1,500 groups, but the Leadership Institute Series has trained 800+ veterans from more than 500 schools.

Financials

Student Veterans of America
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Student Veterans of America

Board of directors
as of 8/23/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Peter Meijer

Meijer, Inc.

George Casey

United States Army

John Fakhoury

Framework Communications

J. Ford Huffman

J. Ford Huffman & Associates

Chris Cortez

Microsoft

Kiersten Downs

University of South Florida

Pamela Erickson

Raytheon Company

Peter Meijer

Meijer, Inc.

Jared Lyon

Student Veterans of America

Sherry Shi

IBM

Fontaine Stegall

MRC Global

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No