Facilitator : Mark Powell, Interim Director, Military Science
Faculty Support Ideas
Instructors should treat veterans as individuals. Each veteran (as every student) is different. Most veterans don’t talk about their service to non-veterans. However, they may have interesting and relevant experiences to share. When possible, give them opportunities to share their life experiences, which can be interesting and informative for other students.
If you have any veterans in your class, they may still be in the National Guard or Army Reserves. Remember that the Army can recall veterans to active duty, and this may be an active concern for these students.
Also remember that university life is very different from military life. Veteran students are used to a VERY structured environment. If they are returning from an overseas or combat deployment, the freedom of choice the university offers can be overwhelming. For example, just the choices for lunch here on campus and the surrounding area compared to the ONE choice for lunch in a combat zone can cause issues. You can help students to be aware of choices and prepare for challenges in their environment.
Another consideration is that, possibly for the first time in their adult lives, veteran students DON”T HAVE to go to their “duty station” (i.e., class). If they miss class, they won’t be punished. If a student misses classes, simply talk with student to find out why this is happening. You will find that most of these students are “type A,” driven to succeed, and they just need pointing in the right direction.
For veterans returning from a combat zone, safety might be a concern. On the one hand, the Army does a very good job of preparing veterans to return to the United States. They will spend up to two months acclimating veterans back into a civilian community. But, due to the constant sustained stress over a yearlong deployment, even small stimuli can bring back memories and feelings from the combat zone. It’s not likely for veteran students to have a dangerous “flashback” but some do experience “illogical” fear from seemingly small stimuli. You can help by being aware of this possibility and making yourself available to listen or refer a student (see Resources below), if they act uncharacteristically or express a need for additional support.
|Who Are The Students?|
|Issues and Challenges|
|Strengths And Weaknesses|
|Faculty Support Ideas|
|Advice From Other Veteran Students|
|Student Diversity Topics|
The Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching
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