In studies conducted at colleges and universities nationwide, student veterans have reported feeling as if non-veteran college students and faculty did not appreciate, understand, relate to, or respect their service. In interviews conducted regarding these feelings, student veterans emphasized their interactions with professors as particularly problematic. In their accounts, they described feeling offended or angered by what they perceived as the professors’ condemnation of the military. In some cases it was in relation to the professors’ espousing their personal political views or making statements that illustrated a lack of understanding, and/or assumption, in regards to how the military functions. For example, faculty at the University of Nevada reported that they rarely shared their views on the U.S. military; however, they did not believe that they should have to be careful not to. In “Veteran ally: Practical strategies for closing the military-civilian gap on campus,” Dr. Nicholas J. Osborne, Interim Director at the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggested that staff, faculty and administrators need to evaluate their biases and misconceptions regarding military service and student veterans in order to meet the needs of this population.
These studies demonstrate that there needs to be a greater understanding in regards to the student veteran population by faculty and staff. Rutgers Military Cultural Competency training will provide the Rutgers community and our partners with a general overview of the military so that professionals can more easily communicate with all student veterans and military.
If you are interested in scheduling a training, please contact us at 848-932-8387 or email Ann Treadaway, Director Office of Veteran and Military Programs and Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Osborne, N. (2014) Veteran ally: Practical strategies for closing the military-civilian gap on campus. Innovative Higher Education, 39(3), 247-260; Elliot & Gonzalez, 2013.