Coverage Of Student Veterans

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In 2013 the number of student veterans doubled, and has since been growing at a rate of 20% per year. The flood of veterans seeking higher education has left many schools playing catch up in order to understand their growing demographic. In 2009, Penn State published a video on their website entitled “The Worrisome Veteran”. The short video was meant as a training guide to show teachers how to manage student veterans. The video depicts student veterans as intimidating, dangerous, entitled and unintelligent. Penn State has since apologized for the video, but it mirrors how out of touch many schools are in regards to student veterans. In Whistling Vivaldi, Claude Steele explains how stereotype threat can negatively affect confidence and thus, …show more content…

Undoubtedly, militaries around the world train individuals to do extremely violent things to other humans. Often times transitioning away from a high tempo, hyper violent environment back to civilian life is a difficult process. William C. Gentry, a San Diego County prosecutor was once quoted saying “You are unleashing certain things in a human being we don’t allow in civic society, and getting it all back in the box can be difficult for some people.” Andrew Chambers is a veteran who had such problems adjusting. During a night out with some friends, Chambers severely beat someone who had pulled out a knife during an argument. At his trial the judge said to him, “Mr. Chambers, your service is a double edged sword. Your time in Iraq makes you a threat to society and I have a civil obligation to lock you up.” We can speculate on whether Chamber’s reaction was justified or not, but the judge referencing Chamber’s time in the military in his decision to sentence him, reflects the stereotype that veterans are facing everyday. What affect can such stereotypes have on student …show more content…

In 2012 the veteran dropout rate was around 88%, and while it has since improved, it is still an alarmingly high number. Why are veterans not completing their degree? While there have been no studies investigating why student veterans are dropping out, perhaps Claude Steele has pinpointed the answer. For many veterans returning to college, they often find themselves not as successful as they had hoped. Low grades, inability to connect with classmates, fear of being judged are cues that can raise the question “Do I really belong here?” In Whistling Vivaldi, Steele explains a similar situation occurring at the University of Michigan. The racial segregation at the university causes many black students to blame their struggles on their race. Consequently, they do not realize that all types of students are facing similar problems.(166-167) In a similar fashion, student veterans might blame the problems they face on their identity, rather than see them as a normal occurrence in a college environment. Steele proposes that “fostering hopeful narratives about belonging in a setting” can work to correct the false idea that identity plays a role in negative experiences.(181) CSM recently held a Student Veteran Leadership Conference, and the objective of the conference was to do just that. By demonstrating to students, staff, and CSM community partners

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