New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Military and Veterans Constituent Committee
As force reductions in our military increase over the next four years coupled with the outstanding education benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), student veteran populations will continue to rise. This non-traditional student population offers an outstanding opportunity for schools to utilize a unique set of knowledge, skills and life experiences that can enhance the traditional classroom. Administrators, faculty members, and traditional students can get the greatest benefits from these traits only if they are aware of them and how they can be most effectively used.
At the same time, the veteran student may have unique challenges that must be addressed to take full advantage of this valuable resource. Universities are best served when they can recognize these challenges and learn how to best accommodate the administrative, medical and functional needs unique to veterans. Administrators and faculty members should also be aware of the unique resources that are available to these students.
The comprehensive Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) benefits enable veterans to attend private schools they normally could not afford. This non-traditional student population growth should cause schools to take a more holistic view of their services. This is especially true for private universities, tailored to the traditional student. Student veterans are often balancing work and family and now find themselves navigating unfamiliar territory applying for both the school and their education benefits, outside of the routine support system provided by parents and other family members. This can result in a higher level of anxiety that may be compounded if the veteran has Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or neuropsychological affects from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Schools that offer support for student veterans glean the leadership, maturity, work ethic and life experiences of these individuals. Understanding and enabling the professional military culture on campus allows for the transfer of these traits to traditional students. It also fosters the growth of camaraderie amongst student veterans, increases retention of this demographic, and enhances their performance and success.
This paper will discuss some of the most common trials faced by this group and present the resources that are available to assist with overcoming these challenges. It will also discuss the unique strengths possessed by these students and suggest ways in which the faculty member can capitalize on these strengths and enhance the educational experience of all students.
Crawford, B. G., & Burke, J. B. (2016, June), Student Veterans: Tapping into a Valuable Resource Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25933
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015