Do Colleges Offer Academic Programs Designed Specifically for Veterans?

Veterans face unique challenges when they are discharged from the military and they’re deciding to return to school. Enrolling in college alone is a very big step in your life. You’re making the commitment to enter into school, pay for your classes, spend time in class, and then apply what you’ve learned professionally. If you’re going back to school as a veteran, you should look for the right academic program that’s designed for you. Here’s what you need to know about degree programs that are for retired military personnel:

Why is it Important for Colleges to Offer Veterans-Only Courses?

There are a few reasons why it’s important for universities and even two-year colleges to offer veterans-only courses. One of the major reasons is because students who have served in the military at some point tend to be older and much more experienced than others.

Since they have lived for years are a service member, it does take a welcoming environment for these adult students to succeed in their college career. A few things that will help contribute to success is learning alongside peers and taking classes instructed by fellow veterans who understand the plight to transition back into society as a civilian.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill

Look For Schools That Are Part of a VA-Approved Program

There are a few different ways that you can easily separate the schools that cater to their student base and those that don’t. Not all colleges want to be known as schools with good academic programs for active-duty or discharged military personnel. Those that do will be a part of government-run programs.

One popular program that aims to bridge the gap for veteran students is the VA-Approved program called The Principals of Excellence. The purpose of this program is to set the guidelines that any institution must follow if they are going to receive any type of military or veteran funding from the Federal Government. One very important guideline is that all veteran students, their spouses, and their kids all of the support services that they need to attend school.

Some of the Differences Between Classes For Veterans and Traditional Classes

In the past, a veteran who wanted to earn their degree would enter just any kind of academic program with a mixed student demographic. Now, there are veterans-only classes where everyone has a similar background with years of military experience. While there are a lot of similarities with traditional programs, there are also some differences.

Most of the time, you’ll only take veterans-only classes for about two semesters just so that you can transition into society and acclimate to student life. During those semesters, you’ll be assigned to a coordinator who will work closely with you so that you’re in a cohort-style program with others majoring in a similar area of study. You’ll enjoy small class sizes, one-on-one meetings with your coordinator, and even support peer groups.

The best way that you can succeed in college is to surround yourself with people who understand your experiences and why your past can affect your future while you’re studying. There are empathetic individuals, but not just anyone knows what being a service member feels like. Explore your options to attend veterans-only academic programs, and decide if this is a good direction for you.