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For Faculty and Staff

Recognize Challenges that Create Barriers to Academic Success

  • Those returning from active duty in a combat zone almost have all been ambushed, attached, shot at, and know someone who was seriously injured or killed.
  • One in six Iraq veterans has had post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, or generalized anxiety.
  • One in nine Afghanistan vets has experienced PTSD, major depression or generalized anxiety. Because PTSD alters brain processes, it affects learning and memory.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury and Mild traumatic Brain Injury are the “signature” injuries/disabilities from the current war. Modern medical advances mean more with severe damage live.
  • Veterans with disabilities have a hard time admitting they are disabled and asking for accommodations since they see themselves as warriors.
  • Ex-military men and women have a difficult time relating to their campus peers’ everyday concerns and issues after being in a combat zone.
  • Readjustment issues with families and coworkers are common, since deployment disrupts the structure and continuity of family and work units.
  • Returning vets are used to clear protocols and designated chains of command. They may have a low tolerance for bureaucracy, indecisiveness, or lack of structure. In the campus environment, rules may be unclear or change from setting to setting, there is a lower sense of order, and bureaucratic problems often arise. These difficulties can create anxiety or frustration for many veterans.
  • Soldiers can get used to the “adrenalin high” of being in a combat zone and dealing with life and death situation. So they may find the pace and content of college life to be boring, trivial, or frustrating.
  • They may feel guilty about something they experience or had to do during deployment (e.g. injure or kill someone, be unable to prevent the injury or death of a friend or comrade, accidentally hurt a civilian, be ordered to do something they felt bad about, etc.)
  • They may attempt too many credits in a term to make up for lost time, leading to failure.

Student Academic Success

  • Veterans have been trained to work with many different kinds of people, often in a group environment. They know how to get a group to focus on the tasks assigned and use the strengths of each member of a group.
  • They have developed strong habits of self-discipline.
  • Many are adept at managing their time as they juggle jobs and family as well as school.
  • They are focused on their goals and may not have time or inclination to take part in extraneous activities.
  • The educational experience is highly valued and they want to take full advantage of the opportunity for a degree.
  • Their past experiences provide a broad background that they bring a new knowledge and their world view is more global then the average college student.
  • Through their military training and travel, they may have discovered interest areas that can lead to a career or vocation.
  • Previous experience have given them confidence as they have persisted over many obstacles to be where they are today.
Veteran Success Center: 1-805-922-6966 ext.3925
Financial Aid: 1-805-922-6966 ext.3200
Counseling Department: 1-805-922-6966 ext.3293
Learning Assistance Program (LAP): 1-805-922-6966 ext.3274