“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.

Online Considerations

The shift to online platforms and telehealth may cause disruption to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) schedule appointments

  • With COVID-19, VA appointments may be altered to fit within with online or telehealth model
  • This may make acquiring an appointment time even more difficult and therefore even more crucial for student veterans to attend to avoid waiting prolonged periods of time for another opening

Class Schedule Day and Time

  • Synchronous classes should maintain a consistent schedule as outlined in the course schedule and not be altered per the instructor’s discretion as student veterans will plan VA appointments around course catalog scheduled times
  • Asynchronous classes allow great flexibility for all students, should a synchronous be necessary for a primarily asynchronous course make sure to announce the change well in advance so that student veterans can make arrangements to be in attendance should it conflict with a VA appointment


  • Recording all class sessions supports student veterans who are unable to attend class due to VA appointment conflicts