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									  Picking Up Where They Left Off:
From the Battlefield to the Classroom

                                                           Understanding and
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                                                          Facilitating the Needs
                                                            of Transitioning
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        are n eed ed to se e th i s pi cture.
 College Support for Servicemembers
            and Veterans
• Institutional policies that help servicemembers access and
  pursue education opportunities

• Enrollment and administrative policies/procedures for
  college entrance (evaluated credit, entrance testing, remedial

• Procedural and policy accommodations as appropriate for
  military students who withdraw for a call to active duty; re-
  enrollment for servicemembers and Veterans returning from
  military service or deployments

• Student services and specialized programs supporting
  Veteran and military student transitions
Conceptual Framework for Understanding
            Student Veterans
  Military Experience                                  Health
  1. Why Join?                                         1. Students with Disabilities
  2. Getting ―Called Up‖                               2. Anger and Resentment
  3. Combat and Other                                  3. PTSD
     Memorable Events          College Life
  4. Earning Credits           1. Connecting with
                               2. Blending In
                               3. Opinions/Reactions   Finance
  Transition                   4. Faculty Support      1. Personal Finances
  1. Exiting Active Duty       5. ROTC                 2. Delayed Benefits
  2. Returning Home                                       Payments
  3. Local Campus Veteran’s Office                     3. Multiple Sources
  4. Academic Preparation

  From the research of David DiRamio (Auburn U), Robert Ackerman (U Nevada, Las
  Vegas), and Regina Mitchell (Central Michigan U). “From Combat to Campus: Voices
  of Student-Veterans,” NASPA Journal, 2008, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp 73-102.
  Used with permission.
            Student Veterans Wish List*

• Develop a Veterans Support Committee to improve campus
  climate for Veterans (lessons learned from campus Veterans,
• Develop Student Veterans Club on campus and/or provide
  meeting space
• If institution is eligible for VA Work Study, consider assigning
  Work Study student to help entering Veterans make the
  transition to an education environment
• Publicize campus information on Vet-Friendly Web site
  (one-stop resource guide)
• Educate faculty, staff, administrators, and other students about
  student-Veteran needs and concerns
*Campus Kit for Colleges and Universities, Student Veterans of America
 Barriers to Enrollment and Retention
• Informational Barriers—easy access to good information
  about transfer credit, financial aid, orientation for adult
• Cultural Barriers—feeling comfortable on campus;
  mainstreaming; structured environment to unstructured
• Injury and/or Trauma-Related Barriers— providing services
  and support for the needs of disabled Veterans; mental health
  issues affect enrollment and student success
• Financial Barriers—tuition waivers and financial assistance
  until GI Bill payments kick in; eligibility for grants and loans
Source: AASCU Perspectives, Summer 2008, “When Johnny [or Janelle] Comes Marching Home”: National, State and
       Institutional Efforts in Support of Veterans’ Education by Lesley McBain;
   Financial Assistance Information

• 60-70% enlist for education benefits

• Financial Assistance Programs
   – Federal Tuition Assistance
   – GI Bill Programs (Chapters 30, 1606, 1607, 33)
   – National Guard State-funded Education
   – Federal Loans
   – Scholarships
   – Grants
     Challenges Before Deployment
• Rapid deployments can complicate official withdrawal
  — ―Official‖ course/college withdrawal sometimes
     overlooked; handed off to family member to complete
  — Activation/mobilization checklist
• Financial aid/tuition refund issues
   – Confusing rules for submitting refund requests
   – Potential hardship if tuition not waived
   – Interest-bearing loans and financial collections
• Grading issues
   – Grades of Incomplete converted to ―F‖ policy
   – Students/professors overestimate feasibility of
     completing coursework while deployed
   – Repeating course versus picking up where left off
       Challenges After Deployment
• Re-enrollment: returning to the college and previous
  degree plan
  — break in attendance policies
  — feeling a sense of being left behind their cohorts
  — administrative procedures: re-applying, expedited
     enrollment procedures, registration priority

• Re-adjusting from the military environment to the
  campus/civilian environment; juggling priorities

• Coping with Service-related impacts
  — Physical            — Psychological
  — Financial           — Social/family
          Institutional Examples of
         Veteran-Friendly Web Pages
•   Indiana University
•   Weber State University
•   Salt Lake Community College
•   San Diego State University
Getting Started
VA Benefits
Financial Assistance
Policies and Procedures
Student Profiles
Contact Us


                          Common forms

                           Donate now!
  How are colleges and
universities in your state(s)
  How Some Colleges Are Responding
• Priority registration for returning military students
• Simplified/expedited application process for readmission
• Extended/flexible enrollment deadlines
• Course schedules adapted for transitioning active-duty servicemembers
• Academic and counseling services focused on military students
• Special Web pages for returning military students
• Veterans support groups
• Veteran centers and lounges
• Scholarship opportunities
• Deferred tuition payment plans (accommodate TA/VA paperwork lags)
• Academic research addressing the needs of returning servicemembers
              National Resources

Severely Injured Servicemember and Spouse
Scholarship Opportunities

– Information available through DANTES
– Lists and provides links to institutions that have
  scholarships for severely injured servicemembers
– Purpose: to connect the potential student to an institution’s
  special programs and scholarship opportunities
– Web site allows colleges to add their institutions to the list
             Military Spouse
      Career Advancement Accounts*
To provide eligible military spouses worldwide up to $6,000 of financial
assistance (lifetime) to help pay for licenses, certifications and education
in high growth, high demand portable career fields.
The goals are to:
 – Provide targeted military spouses with financial assistance to pursue
   education, training, and credentials/licenses required for
   obtaining/retaining employment and advancing in their careers;
 – Provide highly-skilled, well-trained workers to employers in high-
   growth, high-demand industries and sectors;
 – Increase the financial stability of military families; and
 – Support the retention and readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces.

 * My CAA funding is experiencing a temporary hiatus; not currently
   enrolling new military spouses or paying spouse benefits but are still
   processing institutional participation agreements
                  Other Resources
Severely Injured Military Veterans: Fulfilling Their Dreams

– American Council on Education (ACE)
– Provides direct support to Veterans with severe injuries and their
  families align their career goals with educational opportunity
– Combines individualized academic advising with campus
– Program access at three military hospitals: Bethesda Naval
  Hospital in Bethesda, MD; Walter Reed Army Hospital in
  Washington, DC; and Camp Pendleton Wounded Warrior
  Battalion West in San Diego, CA.
– Web site also provides a list of other resources
                   Other Resources
Severely Injured Servicemembers Assistance
– Severely Injured Joint Operations Center established by
  DoD in February 2005
– Operates under the direction of the Office of Military
  Community and Family Policy
– 1-888-774-1361 (24 hours/day and 7 days a week) -
  supports all the Services
– Personalized assistance in:
   •   Medical care and rehabilitation
   •   Education, training, and job placement
   •   Personal mobility and functioning
   •   Home, transportation, and workplace accommodations
   •   Personal, couple, and family issues counseling
   •   Financial resources

• Military students and Veterans are a valuable asset to
  any college community
• Recognize unique challenges that Veterans and
  military students face before and after deployments
• Obtain feedback from campus Veteran/military
  students about ―perceived‖ obstacles in administrative
  operations so can eliminate/ease
• Build and maintain a local resource list/library for
  Veterans; create checklists so can easily identify ―next

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