More than 1 million veterans have taken advantage of their military education benefits in the years since President Bush signed the Post-9/11 GI Bill into law. With the drawdown of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, colleges and universities across the United States can expect to see even greater numbers of veteran students on campus.
As a prior veteran student and current veterans program manager at Bellevue College, I have several ideas for how colleges can better serve veteran students.
Officials should start by reviewing the process for accepting transfer credits from military training and other colleges. Many veterans don’t have the opportunity to take all of their courses at the same college and often have credits from numerous institutions. By evaluating your process for accepting transfer credits, a veteran student will be able to make the most of his or her benefits. The American Council on Education has a free recommendation guide on accepting credit for formal courses and occupations offered by all branches of the military.
Most veteran students have a hard time adapting to college life. Veteran students are typically a few years older than traditional students and deal with issues that younger students haven’t experienced, such as providing for a family and paying a mortgage. For some veterans, college will be the first time they’ve slowed down enough to process their experiences at war.More