Serving Those Who Serve: Student Assistance Programs For Military Students

November 16, 2011/St. Louis, MO – ACI Specialty Benefits’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations, Tori Barr, will be presenting, “Reintegration and Retention Strategies for Military Students,” at the 2011 Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo on November 17.

“ACI’s SOAR student assistance program has not only boosted retention rates, it has literally saved lives. When it comes to serving those who serve-our military students-I look forward to sharing new ideas, best practices and innovative approaches to student assistance with academic leaders at the upcoming conference,” add Barr.

In the fall of 2010, over 210,000 veterans used their post-9/11 GI benefits to attend college. As the United States continues to draw down its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s now more important than ever for universities to be prepared and proactive in serving military students. According to the American Council on Education, 85% of military undergraduates are aged 24 or older, 48% are married, and 47% are raising children. Many military students also suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, have sustained traumatic brain or bodily injury, and are reporting having difficulty adjusting to back to life at home and school.

Student assistance programs like SOAR offer a wide-range of hands-on support and referrals available to serve the financial, legal, work/life, and counseling needs of a university’s student population. By relieving the outside pressure facing students-especially the military and nontraditional student populations-the student assistance program offers students the tools and resources necessary to address life challenges while staying focused on academic goals. As an extension of student services, the student assistance program is also a value-added resource for faculty and staff to refer students in need to caring, confidential, and professional help. SOAR program benefits are also extended to all family members, and can assist the military family as a whole.

As an industry leader and innovator for over a decade, Tori Barr has personally handled development and implementation of the SOAR student assistance program for top-ten EAP, ACI Specialty Benefits. She has worked with numerous universities and technical schools to help fine-tune and develop the student assistance program services, and has become an expert in the field of student assistance program engagement and student retention. Tori has presented at numerous conferences over the years, and has twice been nominated as one of the San Diego Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business.

The conference will be held by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. The conference is expected have over 4,000 attendees, consisting of mostly teachers and administrators from high schools, technical and vocational schools, as well as two and four-year universities.

About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of employee assistance programs, wellness, student assistance, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. Founded in 1983, ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information regarding ACI’s SOAR Student Assistance Program or any other of ACI’s services, please visit or email ACI at

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