How to Help Military & Veteran Families

with René Campo, Deborah Harris-Sims, Laura Ott

About This Course

Join the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University and the NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community to learn more about supporting the success of military-connected students on your campus. 

Session Air Dates Topic

April 4, 2017
2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT

How to Help Military & Veteran Families: Faculty

This live briefing will provide information for faculty on how to engage with student service members and veterans. Participants will learn about some of the unique strengths and challenges of the military student in an academic environment.

The military student population is increasing at two and four-year postsecondary institutions. Data indicate that in 2009, there were approximately 500,000 veterans and beneficiaries receiving education benefits, and that number doubled to over 1,000,000 by 2013. Colleges and universities have an opportunity to increase enrollments and improve retention by reaching into these military markets to fulfill an obligation to serve those who have served our country. All representatives of an institution are essential to student success, but instructors and professors are a critical component of the academic achievement of military–affiliated students in a college setting. When students, administrators, and faculty team up, effective change is much more likely than if one of these elements acts on its own.

The American Council on Education recommends faculty training as one of the best ways to reduce confusion and stigma related to the student military and veteran population. This training is also an important opportunity to emphasize to educators that military-affiliated students add tremendous value to the classroom by offering global experience, leadership skills, discipline, and focus.

Upon completion of the briefing, the participants will be able to do the following:

  • Understand the demographics of the military-affiliated student.
  • Recognize the need for open lines of communication with this population.
  • Manage expectations of classroom responsibilities and performance.
  • Take necessary steps to learn all of the resources available through the institution that directly support the military and veteran student.
  • Apply “Best Practices” shared by faculty from recognized military-friendly colleges and universities.

Presenters: Deborah Harris-Sims and René Campo

April 18, 2017
2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT

 

How to Help Military & Veteran Families: Academic Advisors

This live briefing will provide information on how to assist and support service members and veterans. Participants will learn about military culture related to higher education pursuits and common characteristics when working with those affiliated with the military.

Military service members and veterans are an important population in our communities. Academic Advisors are in direct contact with the military population on a daily basis and must be aware of unique military characteristics and behaviors. The military-affiliated student population is increasing at two- and four-year postsecondary institutions, due in part to substantial education benefits made possible by the Post-9/11 and other GI bills, military tuition assistance, as well as state governments and higher learning institutions. In addition, about 2.6 million service members will be transitioning to civilian life in the future and many will use VA education benefits to get the education and training they need for post-military careers. Academic advisors at colleges and universities face unique challenges in understanding both external policies and institutional processes facing the military-affiliated student population. They are also frequently in positions to effectively address the needs of these students with programs that aid smooth transitions to meaningful college experiences.

Upon completion of the briefing, the participants will be able to do the following:

  • Be familiar with military-centric terminology connected to academic pursuits.
  • Understand educational benefits and programs available to active duty and veteran service members.
  • Recognize service member’s transfer and alternative credit options.
  • Identify special needs and/or for accommodations due to deployment, gaps in education, and relocation.

Presenters: Deborah Harris-Sims and René Campo

May 2, 2017
2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT

How to Help Military & Veteran Families: Disability Services

This live briefing will focus on strategies that institutions of higher education can implement to support military-connected students with disabilities on college campuses.

Military-connected students represent a growing population of students on college campuses. However, many military-connected students, particularly veterans, face unique challenges that can impede learning. These challenges include physical (amputations, burns, hearing or vision loss), cognitive (post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury), and/or social barriers. All institutions of higher learning must adhere to federal regulations, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), to support students with documented disabilities.

This live briefing will focus on strategies that institutions of higher education can implement to support military-connected students with disabilities on college campuses. First, the unique challenges that military-connected students face and best practices for interacting with this student population will be discussed. Second, best practices for working with students with disabilities, regardless of their military connection, will be discussed, with an emphasis on aspects of Universal Design. Disability, Academic Affairs, and Military/Veterans Offices can advocate for military-connected students by using recommendations provided in this webinar. Further, this briefing will provide potential mechanisms to inform faculty and staff on best practices for working with this growing student population.

Participants in this briefing will be able to:

  • Identify common challenges that military-connected students face in college classroom(s).
  • Review best practices for working with students, specifically military-connected populations, who have disabilities.

Presenter: Laura Ott





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