“I have a VA appointment” is not the same as “I have a doctor’s appointment.”

Veterans Affairs (VA) appointments have long wait times and are scheduled based on the VA’s availability without consideration for the student’s schedule. Audiology appointments for hearing aids are known to have the longest wait times. Missing a VA appointment can result in termination of services that can negatively impact a student’s academic success.
Try not to “call out” or “single out” student veterans, but find ways to incorporate their knowledge and skill-set into the classroom dynamics.

Points to Consider

  • Not all service members may have deployed or seen combat, but they are still transition from one cultural group to another. Military culture to civilian culture to higher education culture.
  • Our campuses are their own communities. Our campuses have their own hierarchies. Their own schedules. Their own social structures and climates. Military service members are adjusting not only to the learning environment, but the campus culture as a whole.
  • The adjustment to classroom structure and preparation can be a new experience or one that they have not had for a long time. Therefore, service members may feel intimidated by the students who are familiar with the classroom structure.