Veterans-only classes close, but others open

Veterans-only classes have been dropped at some of the universities that first developed the model, reports Inside Higher Ed. But some colleges and universities are adding veterans’ classes.

At Valencia College in Orlando, John H. Creighton, a veteran himself, started a special speech class this fall.

In the 11-person class of veterans, the students can speak freely, and while they generally don’t go into great detail about their experiences in the field, they know that everybody’s on the same page. “In this class, because they are bonded by their camaraderie of being a veteran, they look at things differently,” Creighton said. “College was new to a lot of them, and this gave them a place where they could feel comfortable in a new environment and network.”

It can be difficult to find enough vets who want to take the same class at the same time. At Collin College, in Texas, Meredith Martin couldn’t recruit enough veterans for her history class, so she opened the class to others. That’s helped veterans integrate into the college community and helped their classmates as well.

“For 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds … in this mochachino, fast-paced, iPhone, instant information kind of world, it’s good for them to stop and realize that we have individuals who served, and that we’re still at war,” Martin said. “It gives a very different global experience.”

Some believe separate classes delay veterans’ transition to civilian life and isolate them from other students.

Most veterans enroll at community colleges and for-profit colleges using their GI Bill benefits.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON January 5, 2012

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Quinn Bledsoe

I’m a veteran, but not a combat vet. I think that having veterans-only classes just gives the impression to the general college community that vets are unapproachable, or even dangerous. I believe colleges should make every effort to provide counseling, access to VA, and other services to integrate vets. Integrating vets into classes will help expose them to the viewpoints of other students and vice versa–one of the things colleges are supposed to be all about.

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