In general, veteran students are mature women and men who posses a global perspective and a realistic view of the world. They bring relevant real-life experience to the classroom and to the overall university experience. Their leadership skills have been honesd to an instinctive level, and they are accustomed to being responsible for the welfare and safety of many. They have undergone intense and prolonged training, and they possess skills that are highly-technical and widely-applicable.
While some veteran students strongly identify with their military past and readily share their experiences with new acquaintances, others wish to establish a new identity for themselves once they arrive on the college campus. Veteras often shun reconition and avoid the spotlight.
Many veteran students are virtually the same age as many of their college classmates, but their expeiences are vastly different. For this reason, veterans often feel a lack of connection on campus. They can also become fustrated with students and professors whom, in their view, are living sheltered lives. This impedes the ability of veterans to become fully engaged in their college experience.
The understanding of faculty, staff, and other students can go a long way towards helping veteran students make a successful transition from the military to college life.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Accept and respect veterans as you would any other student.
- Allow veterans the time and space to bring up their military experiences as they see fit, if at all.
- Listen with an open mind and heart to thse who choose to share.
- Learn about the experiences of U.S. combat veterans and about the military culture in general.
- Be aware of the challenges veterans may face on campus.
- Be as understanding and flexible as possible with those studens who are recalled to active duty.
- Actions or speech specifically designed to disrespect or antagonize the student.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Military Student Services
138 Camp Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723
Counseling and Psychological Services
225 Bird Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723