Kognito and the National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators (NAVPA) Announce Partnership to Support Student Veterans Through its Nationwide Campus Membership

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Partnership Will Promote Kognito’s Innovative Conversation Simulation, Featuring Emotionally-Responsive Virtual Humans, to Build Military Cultural Competency on Campuses

We are honored to join forces with NAVPA, and help to improve the transition for student veterans to successful college careers and beyond. -Ron Goldman, Co-founder and CEO, Kognito

Almost 1 million undergraduate students are either military veterans or on active duty, representing 4% of all US undergraduates. This number will continue to rise as troops return home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these student veterans are challenged by the transition from the intensity of military life into a more self-sufficient, civilian life as a college student. In addition, research shows that student veterans often have a spouse or young family to care for and support, and can see their campus life hindered by the negative after-effects of their combat experiences in the form of post-traumatic stress, substance use, depression, and thoughts of suicide, or lack of sensitivity to these experiences.

College faculty and staff must obtain a deeper understanding of the student veteran’s challenges so they can better engage with student veterans and discuss solutions and resources that meet the student’s specific needs. To assist colleges and universities’ increase in military cultural competency among faculty and staff, the National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators (NAVPA) and Kognito have announced a partnership to promote the availability of Kognito’s conversation simulation, Veterans on Campus, to its national member campuses.

“The Kognito Conversation provides a best-in-class, immersive virtual experience where faculty and staff can quickly learn about the challenges student veterans face when adjusting to college life, and how to engage with them in a way that makes them feel directly supported and better able to connect with their college experience,” said Marc Barker, President of NAVPA. “We are thrilled to join forces with Kognito in a focused effort to increase military cultural competency across our member campuses,” Barker added.    

Kognito’s breakthrough interventions use the latest principles behind neuroscience, social cognition, and game mechanics to create role-play simulations that are research proven in their effectiveness. A 2012 study, co-published by Dr. Chris Cate from Student Veterans of America and Kognito’s co-founder Dr. Glenn Albright, found that the Veterans on Campus conversations resulted in statistically significant and sustainable changes in military cultural competency skills and the ability of faculty and staff to approach and refer a veteran struggling with psychological distress or with adjusting to college life to support services. Kognito’s Veterans on Campus simulations are listed in SAMSHA’s SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry and are currently being utilized by more than 110 higher education institutions.

“We are honored to join forces with NAVPA, and help to improve the transition for student veterans to successful college careers and beyond,” said Ron Goldman, Co-founder and CEO of Kognito. He went on to remark “key features of our innovative conversations, including their digital scalability, cost effectiveness, 24/7 on-demand accessibility, and user-initiated conversation practice with virtual humans make them powerful interventions for campus settings.”

Veterans on Campus is a SaaS-based suite of two interactive simulations that uses conversation role-play, featuring emotionally-responsive virtual student veterans. The faculty and staff program provides learning about the needs and experiences of student veterans, such as the obstacles they may face in their pursuit of a college degree, offers effective techniques for managing classroom discussions around topics that may be sensitive to veterans, and outlines best techniques for recognizing when student veterans exhibit signs of psychological distress and how to connect them with support. The student peer program helps student veterans learn ways to support fellow veterans. The program offers practice in conversing with student veterans about common challenges in transitioning to college life, such as isolation, cultural disparities, academic difficulties, time management, and more serious health issues such as traumatic brain injury, depression, and PTSD. The underlining architecture of the Kognito Conversation allows users to gain repeated and deliberate practice in applying specific tactics, experiencing their consequences, and receiving real-time, personalized feedback.
To help drive broad adoption of Veterans on Campus by NAVPA members, the partnership will make these proven interventions available at a reduced price. In addition, NAVPA and Kognito will offer a free webinar to present how the power of a Kognito Conversation can be an effective tool for building military cultural competency on campus.

Visit https://www.kognito.com/products/voc/ for a demonstration and to learn more about the Veterans on Campus conversation.

About Kognito:
Kognito is a proven leader in developing conversation simulations featuring emotionally-responsive virtual humans to enable conversations that make a difference. Supported by a growing volume of research evidencing their effectiveness, Kognito’s conversation simulations provide an exciting new opportunity for effectively delivering behavior change outcomes. Our scientists, artists and technologists use the latest principles behind neuroscience, social cognition and game mechanics to create simulated conversations featuring virtual humans where people practice and self-assess their ability to manage conversations that can lead to positive changes in social, emotional, and physical health. Kognito's growing portfolio of research proven conversation simulations are licensed by over 500 leading health, education, nonprofit and government institutions. Kognito is the only company with health simulations listed in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Learn more at https://www.kognito.com/.

About NAVPA:
NAVPA is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting professional competency and efficiency through an association of members and others associated with and involved in Veterans Education Assistance Programs. The Association offers membership to those directly employed in veteran's affairs or those genuinely interested in and supportive of the goals of the Association.

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Ross Anderson
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