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How Can I Help Student Veterans Transition to Campus?

Presenters: Justin M. Smith, Ph.D., Project Director, Fides Grant, Center for Learning and Teaching, University of South Dakota

This course is worth 1 hour (0.1 CEU) of professional development. A certificate of completion can be printed once the program has been completed.


About this Course


Adapting to life on campus can test anyone, but for student veterans it can be particularly difficult.

Learn how you can support student veterans in their return to civilian life in How Can I Help Student Veterans Transition to Campus?

Student veterans frequently face challenges beyond those known to the typical new student. Consider these unique characteristics of student veterans:

  • 84.5 percent are older than traditional students*
  • Nearly 50 percent of new veterans seek disability benefits*
  • 47 percent have children*
  • 46 percent reported significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder*
  • 7.7 percent have attempted suicide*

(*Statistics from a 2011 national study published in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice)

This program is also available as part of the Student Veteran 4-pack.


Helping student veterans successfully navigate the transition from the military to higher education can involve faculty and staff across your campus.

After participating in this student affairs session, you will be able to:

  • Identify factors that affect the ease or difficulty of a veteran’s return to civilian life
  • Recognize the multiple, complex transitions student veterans must navigate
  • Understand the difference between the cultures of the military and of higher education institutions
  • Identify early warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and depression


You’ll learn practical tips for supporting student veterans:

  • Using student surveys as a nonthreatening way to find out whether there are veterans in your classes and how many times they were deployed
  • Sharing information about child care services
  • Providing space on campus for veterans to gather
  • Incorporating service-learning and team activities to draw on student veterans’ strengths and reduce their social isolation
  • Sharing information on resources, such as AboutFace, Student Veterans of America, and Vets Prevail

You’ll learn from an expert presenter who focuses on academic success for student veterans.

You can read “Forty Percent of 2 Million” Preparing to Serve our Veterans with Disabilities, which they wrote based on their U.S. Department of Education grant.