UC Santa Barbara Gevirtz School alumnus Dr. Chris Cate, currently Research Director for Student Veterans of America (SVA), has led a movement to forge a formal agreement among the SVA, the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Student Clearinghouse to establish and employ a national database on student veteran college completion. For the first time, graduation rates of veterans attending colleges under the GI Bill will soon become available to the public. In 2008, the American Council on Education estimated that there were about 2 million veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the United States. About 4% of all undergraduates in that year were military veterans.
Cate became a national leader while still a graduate student in articulating a national research program aimed at PTSD and head injury-related risk, resilience, and educational attainment for veterans entering higher education under the auspices of the Post- 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 – the "new GI Bill." He won research awards, made national presentations, and conducted his dissertation work on these topics before accepting his current full-time position with SVA. This new formal agreement, therefore, is the culmination of over two years of effort.
His advisor at the Gevirtz School, Dr. Michael Gerber, says, "We share in Dr. Cate's pride in this accomplishment and look forward to his continuing impact in years to come."
Dr. Cate served as Associate Director for the Center of Advanced Studies of Individual Differences (CASID) at the UC Santa Barbara, where he continued to work with student veterans and school administrators to improve services and develop programs to benefit student veterans. He graduated from the Department of Education at the Gevirtz School with a Master's of Arts in Research Methodology and a Doctorate in Special Education, Disability, and Risk Studies. His dissertation – Student Veteran College Experiences: Demographic Comparisons, Differences in Academic Experiences, and On-Campus Service Utilization – examined student veterans' college experiences and academic performance.