Penn St, Student Conservation Association Develop “Vets-Centric” Assessment Tool; Enables Orgs to Identify Strengths, Barriers Affecting Veterans Relationships
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) November 8, 2012 —- As large numbers of military veterans transition back to civilian life, they bring certain needs and present certain opportunities. However, nonproﬁt organizations seeking to work with veterans may ﬁnd their programs and systems are not in synch with this unique constituency.
Pennsylvania State University and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) have partnered to develop a “vets-centric” business tool that allows nonproﬁts to assess their readiness and ongoing capability to effectively serve former military personnel. The NonProﬁt Environmental Evaluation for Veterans Index (NPEEVI) is based on a similar evaluative tool created by Penn State for use by higher education institutions.
“The military culture is very different from the nonproﬁt culture, and nonproﬁts must recognize and accommodate these differences in order to successfully employ or service those who served in the armed forces,” says SCA Director of Recruiting Patty Holland.
The NPEEVI is based on a substantial amount of research into the veteran constituency, and allows nonproﬁts to assess a broad range of environmental factors including Organizational Structure, Systems and Policies, Human Resources, and Institutional Culture. Kimberly Griﬃn, Ph.D., who along with graduate research assistant Clair Gilbert developed both the original tool and the NPEEVI at Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education, says the objective with veterans is to eliminate potential obstacles to developing productive relationships.
“The Index helps organizations aim a spotlight on important operational components including recruiting strategies, scheduling ﬂexibility, and support networks speciﬁc to veterans’ needs. Something as basic as identifying other veterans on staff who can serve as contacts for vets just joining an organization can vastly improve the quality of the veteran experience,” notes Griﬃn, now an associate professor at Maryland University.
The NPEEVI also makes it easier for nonproﬁts to track program outcomes and compare the results to those of their civilian programs. For more information, contact Patty Holland at 603.543.1700, ext. 1112 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Student Conservation Association
The Student Conservation Association helps tomorrow’s conservation leaders take action for the planet by providing high school and college students, young veterans and others with hands-on conservation experiences in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA has developed new generations of conservation leaders, provided America’s youth with green job training and skill building, restored community green spaces, preserved our trails and recreation resources, and engaged millions of Americans in conservation service and outdoor education. SCA is a nonproﬁt organization headquartered in Washington, DC with oﬃces in Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Seattle, WA.