Teaching with Student Veterans in Mind | CRLT

University of Michigan
Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

*updated November 7, 2018US flag in the Diag

During U-M’s Veterans Week, it’s a good time to reflect on the needs of our students who have served in the military. Did you know that record numbers of veterans are enrolling in U.S. colleges and universities–and many of them are here on U-M’s campuses? Since January 2014, the university’s tuition policy has allowed students who have served in the military to qualify for in-state tuition. If you teach at U-M, odds are good you’ve had or will have student veterans in your classroom.How might your awareness of veterans in the classroom make a difference in your teaching? The research on student veterans suggests several strategies and cautions for teaching inclusively with veterans in mind. Here are a few:Understand that veterans are diverse in their identities and viewpoints: As Alison Lighthall emphasizes in “Ten Things You Should Know About Today’s Student Veteran,” veterans vary widely in terms of their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and political persuasion. She proposes ways instructors can connect with student veterans as individuals in order to support their transition to life in a civilian setting. These include respectfully accommodating any disabilities they have, as well as deliberately planning any class discussions about recent military engagements to include a full range of student perspectives. These CRLT guidelines for discussing controversial issues offer concrete strategies for facilitating conversations that productively engage diverse students. Additional ideas specifically about discussing war in settings with veteran and non-veteran students can be found in Chapter 4 of this National Organization on Disability publication on “Preparing Your Classrooms to Welcome Returning Veterans and Service Members.”

Source: Teaching with Student Veterans in Mind | CRLT