Major Findings & Recommendations
Pre-Military background findings include: • “Veterans were able to look back on their previous experiences in higher education and reflect on them in light of their current mindset; one affected by war and the circumstances of time. These experiences continually influenced how they approached higher education and are not wholly unrelated to their subsequent reflections on the influence of combat" (p. 82). Entering and Experiencing higher education. • “Undergraduate and graduate veterans alike expressed the need for more targeted information that pertained to them, the funding they receive from the federal government, and services that would be available to them” (pp. 91-92). • “With regard to the academic demands of college, on the whole veterans said they felt prepared for the academic work of college, both mentally and intellectually. The greatest challenges discussed by veterans entering college were social and cultural…veterans felt that their experiences and age separated them from their younger colleagues” (p. 94). • “Veterans felt that the common student experience and frame of mind was not something that they could identify with. While it was not mentioned as a distinct barrier to their own engagement in higher education, it remained a dominant theme in veteran responses” (p. 95). • With regard to the broader experience, when asked if they felt that their experience in war had a positive or negative effect on their lives, the vast majority of participants sited the pride in the work they had done, as well as the pride in the men and women they had served with as positives taken from the experience” (p. 96). Recommendations: •“The creation of a designated Student-Veterans’ Affairs Specialist is necessary for institutions to fully acknowledge and address the needs of [veterans]” (p. 139). •“The creation of a veteran-specific orientation…[to] acknowledge veterans as a special population [and to] serve as the university’s recognition of issues veterans face, [separating] them from traditional college going students” (p. 139). • “The creation of a veteran-peer mentoring program [to increase] the presence of other veterans [which is] essential to the adjustment associated with leaving a combat zone experience” (p. 139) (Abstractor: Author) Could not find anything in the report that was specific to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.