Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 38

Military Matriculation Making the Transition from Soldier to Student It is difficult to escape the constant media attention on the transition issues facing military personnel and veterans. They will be unique learners, bringing vastly different experiences to campus than their civilian peers do. Many veterans will be returning from war with serious injuries that would have been fatal in earlier wars. The great strides in scientific research and medical innovations have developed seemingly miraculous innovations in physical prosthetics and reconstructions for injured service members. Miracles notwithstanding, the re-entry for these veterans is not going to be easy, as described by one female amputee: “When you’re in Walter Reed [a veterans’ hospital], you’re in a bubble. I could walk around with my arm off. It’s acceptable. Everyone there knows … But when you walk out the gate, it’s a whole different world. No one knows what I’ve been through, no one probably cares, and to avoid all that, I never come out without my [prosthetic] arm. Never.” (“Limbs Lost to Enemy Fire, Women Forge a New Reality” by Donna St. George, The Washington Post, April 18, 2006.) We are still learning how to accommodate and serve those veterans and others who suffer from TBI (traumatic brain injury) and other brain injuries and the legions of veterans who have symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other emotional problems that could adversely affect their learning capabilities. On the long flight back from the European Command, I was consumed with thoughts about how these service men and women were ready for college, yet many U.S. colleges and universities were not ready for them. I immediately conducted some telephone interviews with student affairs professionals to assess available veterans’ services on their campuses. In Their Service Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) report the following initiatives being pursued by some colleges and universities to meet veterans’ needs: • • • • • • • • • • Priority registration Simplified/expedited application process for readmission Extended/flexible enrollment deadlines Course schedules adapted for transitioning active-duty service members Academic and counseling services targeted to military students Support groups Veterans’ centers and lounges Scholarship opportunities Deferred tuition payment plans Academic research focused on needs of returning veterans unIveRSITy of kenTucky puBlIc RelaTIonS and maRkeTIng (“The Higher Education Community’s Response and Initiatives in Support of the Post-9/11 GI Bill,” Service Members Opportunity Colleges—Kathy M. Snead.) The Veterans Resource Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington is a one-stop shop for student veterans seeking assistance with admissions, financial aid, and scheduling classes. Some had not seen an increase in the number of returning vets, while others were already overwhelmed. Initially, the focus was on getting veterans the financial aid they needed to begin school. The biggest concern was a lack of communication among the Veterans Administration, the veteran, and the higher education institutions. Based on a few interviews, I created a short, unsophisticated survey and sent it to a number of higher education institutions to determine their sense of the number of returning military personnel, their college experiences, and the programs that were working and not working for them. In response to my question about the most important preparation colleges and universities need to make, one respondent noted, “We need a better understanding of the frustrations [veterans] experience upon return and how we might better support them.” When I spoke with veterans at Pennsylvania State University in University Park in spring 2009, the term reintegration was used frequently. Those in student affairs, and particularly in housing, must focus on easing the transition for veterans by helping them reintegrate. We must help them take the first steps on the road to success and view 3 Talking STick

Talking Stick - November/December 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - November/December 2009

Talking Stick - November/December 2009
Contents
Online Now
Vision
Just In
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Regroup
Facilities
Business
Calendar
No Small Measure
Military Matriculation
Conversations
First Takes
Reporting Out
Welcome
Snapshot
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - BB1
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - BB2
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Talking Stick - November/December 2009
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Cover2
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 1
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 2
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Contents
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Online Now
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 5
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Vision
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 7
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Just In
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 9
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 10
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 11
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 12
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Transitions
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 15
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Regroup
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 17
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 18
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 19
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Facilities
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 21
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 22
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 23
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Business
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 25
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 26
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Calendar
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - No Small Measure
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 29
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 30
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 31
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 32
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 33
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 34
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 35
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Military Matriculation
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 37
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 38
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 39
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 40
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 41
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 42
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 43
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Conversations
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 45
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 46
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - First Takes
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Reporting Out
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 49
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 50
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 51
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 52
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 53
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Welcome
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 55
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Cover3
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Cover4
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