We find ourselves challenged to support the strengths and needs of veterans as they transition from a military life to pursuing higher education. This challenge finds its home well within the framework of Schlossberg’s transition model, which was developed to assist with a broad range of life transitions. Many institutions of higher education have developed detailed service programs to boost veteran success in higher education.
What’s missing, and perhaps a barrier for success, is that the key to these programs lies in understanding the student-veteran mindset, which is becoming critical as more student-veterans seek to use their military education benefits.
The 2011 NACADA Journal article “Applying Schlossberg’s Model to Transitioning American Veterans” reports that an increasing number of student-veterans start the higher education journey with unseen injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues. These unseen injuries increase the likelihood of lower retention and graduation rates. Student-veterans returning to colleges and universities typically have a higher level of education and a higher level of maturity than the traditional high school graduate because they have a more diverse experience base. This experience base can be an additional barrier that adds to the difficulty of understanding the student-veteran mindset.
Dr. Schlossberg’s study identified the means to overcome such a difficulty by a process that encourages an understanding of the student-veteran’s strengths, needs and challenges as they transition from the military life to the higher education journey.
We Speak A Different Language
Student-veterans are different. We take on life’s tasks as if they represent a mission. We are regimented, task-oriented and focused on the goals. We speak a different language that is easily distinguishable from one veteran to another. We communicate with experience gained from places and events that are both amazing and impossible to describe.
It’s a language that cannot be learned; it can only be earned. It defines our history and the level of trust granted.
Schlossberg’s Transition Model
Schlossberg’s transition model focuses on a series of human interactions that produce a desired result as a means to promote higher education success.
Schlossberg model promote dynamic change that influences the sense of competency which becomes a clear connection between a student-veteran and an institution of higher education. A connection when applied, results in higher retention, degree completion rates and a productive, transitioning American veteran.
About Dr. Nancy K. Schlossberg
Dr. Nancy K. Schlossberg established the Office of Women in Higher Education at the American Council of Education, and she has served on the faculties of Wayne State University, Howard University and Pratt University. Her published books include: Getting the Most out of College (2001); Going to Plan B: How You Can Cope, Regroup and Start Your Life on a New Path (1996); Improving Higher Education Environments for Adults (1989); Counseling Adults in Transition (1984); and Perspectives on Counseling Adults (1978).
by AMERICAN WRITER Dr. Pietro Savo Tradition Books Publication © 2012
Manufacturing Research Practitioner ™ by Dr. Pietro Savo
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