NC STRIVE, a consortium of two-year and four-year public and private schools; federal and state agencies; and advocates began offering conferences to administrators, staff, and faculty at institutions of higher education in 2015. The purpose of these conferences was to increase awareness and knowledge about issues affecting Veterans and their families as they made the transition from the military to the academic setting. The intent was to educate those employed in higher education so that they could provide any necessary services and supports or referrals to federal, state, or local resources. In this way, they could assist student Veterans in their successful pursuit of advanced degrees.
During the first two years, statewide conferences were held in Raleigh and Sanford, respectively. Because a number of professionals voiced their concern about lack of access to the statewide conferences, a decision was made to host regional conferences. From 2017 to 2019, regional conferences were conducted, with the idea that more professionals could be served if the location was closer to their employment. As noted in Table 1 below, the number of participants has increased each year.