Saturday, October 3, 2015

Helping Veterans Integrate into College

Veterans are honored members of our society with their willingness to put their lives at risk so that the rest of us can live our lives in aversion to our greater responsibilities. Some Veterans have difficulty adjusting to college because of the wide ranging difference between an institutionalized life and a free society without the strength of rules to guide them.

With a little support through veterans associations and understanding the chances of social reintegration back into civilian society goes upwards. The transition period takes some time and effort but is well worth the cost of keeping veterans on a straight track.

An exploratory study veterans transitioning from active duty to college life shows that the ease of transition is a result of the perception of their personal strengths that include self-discipline, social interactions, and student-veteran programs (Olsen, Badger, & McCuddy, 2014).

Veterans have a hard time jumping from an all inclusive world to one in which they are free to explore what eany path they choose. Sometimes veterans can do well at this transition and other times they suffer from a lack of support and social integration with non-veterans.

The process of transitioning can be made easier with support groups and general understanding of faculty that don't quite understand how different the two worlds are. The time it takes to reintegrate may be up to a year but can do wonders in getting people situated in new lives that don't revolve around codes and rules.  Once they internalize their sense of control they will approach their work and engagement differently.

Olsen, T, Badger, K. & McCuddy, M. (2014). Understanding student veteran's college experience: an exploratory study. U.S. Army Medical Department Journal.

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