Clearinghouse streamlines process of identifying helpful resources
If you’ve ever tried an online search for “employment resources for veterans,” you probably discovered that you first have to wade through the mountain of resources aimed at helping you find a job in order to find a job.
That’s a mixed blessing. There are an extensive number of online resources available to help the military community. But how do people know which resources represent the best of the best? How can they “cut through the mix” of multiple resources aimed at addressing the same need?
Enter the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State. In partnership with the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP), the Clearinghouse researches and vets the scores of web-based resources relevant to Guardsmen, Reservists, and families so that they don’t have to.
Covering a range of critical issues, including finances, employment, and psychological health, the goal of the review is to identify a limited number of highly interactive, relevant, credible, and easy-to-use resources to reduce information overload and barriers to healthy behaviors.
“We pride ourselves on reducing the burden on the military community,” said Jamie Irvin, an Army veteran and research assistant with the Clearinghouse.
Comprised of more than 50 full-time researchers, scientists, learning designers, and digital creatives housed within Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute, the Clearinghouse strives to reduce barriers in an effort to increase healthy behavior through evidence-informed decision-making.
“Decision-making devolves when you have too many choices and too much information,” said Dr. Cameron Richardson, a research and evaluation scientist with the Clearinghouse. “So we ask ourselves, ‘Can we reduce barriers for service members?’”
Continuing a relationship that began in 2011, the Clearinghouse works with YRRP in a number of other ways, including designing surveys and analyzing data surrounding YRRP events, working in collaboration with YRRP’s Cadre of Speakers to promote consistent delivery of curriculum, and developing research-based curriculum.
The following is a preview of resources the Penn State Clearinghouse has selected in conjunction with YRRP. The full set can be accessed free of charge on the YRRP website. To access the subtopics, click “Menu” in the upper-left of the screen and select “Find a Resource.”