Monthly Archives: November 2013

You Can’t Be Too Military Friendly

The most successful institutions do more than grant certificates and degrees. When schools go above and beyond awarding degrees and certificates to U.S. military service members, their families and veterans, this extra initiative opens up new opportunities for veterans and employers alike.

Career College Central

You Can’t Be Too Military Friendly published, Career College Central Magazine November 2013 Edition

Education is power, regardless of where you earn your credentials. Once you have earned an education, no one can take it from you. What we are attempting to understand is what schools do “above and beyond” awarding a degree or certificate to U.S. military service members, their families and veteran higher education students. What activities can colleges and universities embrace to engage their military communities? What I discovered is a genuine enthusiasm to work with the military community, which I am excited to share with you. My day job transports my entire education team face-to- face with thousands of service members  and their  families weekly. I   have determined from the many conversations I’ve personally conducted and witnessed that a veteran’s No.1 concern before taking on the ever-so-important mission of higher education is, “How will this education result in a well-paying job?” There is no easy way to answer that question. I have been privileged to engage in conversations with passionate people working with service members, their families and veterans attending universities and colleges coast to coast.

No.1 concern before taking on the ever-so-important mission of higher education is, “How will this education result in a well-paying job?

These committed individuals include educators, administrators and staff who are doing everything in their power  to help these special students engage in and complete the right education to reach their dream careers. I have identified many college and university practices that current and future student-veterans may find well worth exploring.

The right education results in  the best future. I  selected the most veteran-oriented  schools through  research based  on certain keywords: military, college, jobs, career and education. These search words yielded a diverse group of higher education institutions not typically grouped together. They included Florida National University in Miami, Fla.; Grantham University in Kansas City, Mo.; Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas; and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Mass. We do not see a list of institutions such as these advertising together in any higher education marketing venue as military-friendly, but they have made commitments to service members and veterans that are well worth writing about.

In my many and endless conversations with school officials, one comment left me speechless – the school official actually thought we had lost the phone connection because I stopped talking. Dr. Ryan Van Dusen, Associate Director of Military and Veterans Programs for Texas Tech University and a former soldier in the U.S. Army, said, “You can’t be too military-friendly.” That statement by Van Dusen left me in stunned silence, which rarely happens. The most basic question that can be asked of a college or university is how it works to ensure that an education at that institution can result in a well-paying job. The answer, on the other hand, is much more complex; there is no simple list of  tasks an  institution can check off.

However, I did witness a common element among the successful  institutions; they  are all characterized  by the  passion to do more than grant certificates and degrees.

The principle of “you can’t be too military-friendly” became  clear as  a guiding  force and defining characteristic of the following schools:

Grantham University (GU) was founded in 1951 by World War II veteran Donald Grantham, who wanted to help fellow veterans improve their lives through higher education. Grantham University is a 100-percent online university serving a highly diverse student population. I spoke with Johanna Altland, Grantham University’s Director of Communications, and she spoke at length about educator obligations. To paraphrase Altland, the best way we can be advocates for veterans is by educating them to be career-ready, which is why we are all here in the first place. Grantham takes a multifaceted approach to student-veteran success. The university uses many internal and external initiatives to pave the way for future employment of veterans and service members. First, it educates its student-veterans; second, it prepares its student-veterans for employment in the civilian workforce. The university takes this model one step forward, smoothing the path for its students in the civilian job market by taking the time to educate employers on the value of hiring veterans.

This provides businesses with veteran recruitment strategies that benefit the veteran as well as the potential employer. The internal and external initiatives educate and prepare Grantham’s staff, their students and potential  employers. The cement that I believe holds this model together is twofold and includes Grantham Pathways, a virtual online job portal and a series of free e-books called Military-to-Civilian Transition Guide. This series comprises five books: Entering the Civilian Workforce – Your Journey Starts Here!, Choose a Career You’ll Love and Never Work a Day in Your Life, Professional Branding That Gets You Noticed, Make the “Call Pile” With Attention-Grabbing Resumes and Cover Letters, and How to Ace the Interview … and Stand Out From the Crowd.

Throughout my research, Grantham’s strategy to educate and prepare emerged as an obvious theme of delivering student-veteran successes. The internal and external initiatives educate and prepare Grantham’s staff, their students and potential employers. The cement that I believe holds this model together is twofold and includes Grantham Pathways, a virtual online job portal and a series of free e-books called Military-to-Civilian Transition Guide. This series comprises five books: Entering the Civilian Workforce – Your Journey Starts Here!, Choose a Career You’ll Love and Never Work a Day in Your Life, Professional Branding That Gets You Noticed, Make the “Call Pile” With Attention-Grabbing Resumes and Cover Letters, and How to Ace the Interview … and Stand Out From the Crowd. Throughout my research, Grantham’s strategy to educate and prepare emerged as an obvious theme of delivering student-veteran successes.

Florida National University (FNU) – Florida National University held its first class in 1988 in the city of Hialeah, Fla., under the name Florida International Institute.  A second campus opened in Miami one year later; a third campus was opened in a second Miami location in 1990. A fourth campus, the Online Learning Campus, was initiated in 2005. Florida National University offers Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate degrees; diploma programs; and certificate programs. Florida National  University
President  Maria C.   Regueiro spoke with me about the university’s veteran support services. The needs of our honored service members, their families and veterans are many, said Regueiro. She went on to explain that the Florida National University team understands that travel and deployment can conflict with campus learning and provide a challenge for those in the military. Florida National University seeks to solve this problem with a combination of quality and flexibility, aiming to help service members obtain a career by providing them with online programs that are easy to access from wherever they are stationed. The university provides these students with academic advising, numerous resources and, most of all, support to carry on their academic dreams.

The university’s staff believes that one size does not match each military student’s needs. Instead, it develops and implements education programs that meet individual needs, backing these programs up with the university’s regional accreditation.The university’s student-veterans obtain more than an education; the institution’s career support stands out and continues to provide a resource to students long after graduation. The career support staff establishes a personal rapport with military students, giving them quick responses to their queries, concerns and needs. The staff believes it is critical to understand the limitations and special needs these students face, always letting them know that the university team members are there to support students in their career paths. Regueiro emphasized that the staff at Florida National University is grateful for the sacrifices student-veterans have made to preserve our freedom.

Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT is a technical design and engineering college. Wentworth was founded in 1904 and offers career-focused education through its 15 Bachelor’s degree programs in areas such as architecture, computer science, design, engineering, engineering technology and management, as well as Master ’s degrees in architecture and construction management. My conversation with Maureen Dischino, Executive Director of Admissions, and Jamie Kelly, Associate Vice President of Public Affairs, inspired in me an Oprah Winfrey-type “aha!” moment when they described two main student-veteran initiatives. The first initiative involves faculty mentors. Wentworth provides an informal student-veteran mentoring program, which provides student-veterans with a support structure in the form of mentors who have a military background. These mentors understand veterans’ history and have a common connection with them that helps the mentors have a positive impact on the students’ academic journeys, improving retention and completion rates and building lifelong relationships. Dischino  explained  that Wentworth  focuses on  trying to be as veteran-friendly as it can be.

Wentworth welcomes veteran relationships.   The counseling   center has   gone through specialized training to better support veterans and to take the concept of being veteran-friendly to a higher level. This  military-friendly training  begins with  the university’s commitment to veteran success and an understanding that careers and jobs play a critical role in veterans’ future. Wentworth looks for leadership qualities and maturity from students interested in pursuing careers, paying attention to the work student-veterans have done while in the military. That established leadership quality prepares student-veterans for memorable academic success at Wentworth. The second initiative is a co-op. Wentworth students’ job market industry advantage is fostered by a cooperative education (co-op) that touches more than 1,400 students each year, providing educational journeys that promote lifelong careers. Dischino said, ‘‘At Wentworth, we prepare students for specific careers.’’ Through two mandatory semesters of co-op, students fulfill a professional experience requirement needed to graduate. Wentworth’s co-op model creates the opportunity for potential employers to interact with Wentworth’s students, creating relationships built on motivated students seeking out real-world employment experiences. The co-op is an education model that links classroom learning with potential employers. Co-op students are paid by local, national and international employers, who then hire these students after graduation, resulting in an “education designed for return on investment (ROI).”

Texas Tech University (TTU)– Founded in 1923 on the South Plains of West Texas, Texas Tech is a comprehensive research university that retains the sense of a smaller liberal arts institution. Texas Tech earned my attention with a quote on its website by Kent Hance stating that the university “provides resources and educational opportunities needed to succeed in civilian life.” I found that intriguing, and I reached out to Van Dusen, who explained the Texas Tech University veteran support model. Working directly with the university’s huge career center, Texas employers come to Texas Tech because they know that the institution instills a work ethic that equals a success-oriented mindset in its students. Van Dusen added that having military experience today can make a student very marketable to prospective employers. Van Dusen pointed out that the career center is staffed by former U.S. military service members who help the military students translate their military experiences into terms civilian employers can understand.

This process of reframing professional experience becomes the foundation for a resume that demands attention from hiring companies. The career center supports the resume-building process and provides resources that improve interview skills.Many of the university’s student-veterans are 26 years old and feeling out of place attending college with 19-year-olds. They feel that they are already behind the bell curve. TTU strives to help military students understand that the experiences they gained in the military are going to put them significantly ahead of their non- military peers in terms of employment marketability.  Van Dusen went on to say that, for a veteran support career center to be truly effective, it must go well beyond being simply military- friendly – after all, “you can’t be too military-friendly.” TTU’s mission is to help any student who comes to the career center with a problem.
“Beyond military-friendly” appears to be Texas Tech University’s secret sauce to success, combined with their strong employer-community relationships.

We all have a responsibility to our military community to identify institutions that go beyond being simply military-friendly and have the attitude that you cannot be too military-friendly. When schools go above and beyond awarding degrees and certificates to U.S. military service members, their families and veterans, this extra initiative opens up new opportunities for veterans and employers alike.  Dr. Pete 

The featured institutions have implemented proven higher education solutions that are working across our great nation and prove that the principle “you can’t be too military-friendly” begins with you.

You Can’t Be Too Military Friendly published, Career College Central Magazine November 2013 Edition

by AMERICAN WRITER Dr. Pietro Savo Tradition Books Publication © 2011

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Manufacturing Research Practitioner ™ by Dr. Pietro

Education Blog Directory

Read, write, and question everything!
Our voices are powerful and true!

Pietro Savo E-Mail Link Dr.Pete@EducationIsPower.US


IDENTIFYING THE SIGNS – Military Students at Risk – Preventing Soldier Suicides

Transitioning American Veterans

IDENTIFYING THE SIGNS – Military Students at Risk originally published, Career College Central Magazine May 2013 Edition

Today, headlines in the media are dominated by politics, economic doom and gloom, the jobless rate, and citizens of other countries being murdered by their dictator leaders. However, the headline we should all be paying more attention to is the one that appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune last year: “More soldier suicides than combat deaths in 2012.” The soldiers of the U.S. military are defending and protecting all of the United States’ interests across our entire planet, only to come home and kill themselves.
With these new students landing in colleges and universities nationwide, academic leadership needs to understand suicide warning signs.

Since World War II and up until recently, U.S. military suicide rates have been lower than civilian rates, and wartime suicide rates in the military have historically dropped. Yet in 2008, the military suicide rate exceeded the civilian rate for people between 17 to 30 years of age, according to the study “Army Suicides: ‘Knowns’ and an Interpretative Framework for Future Directions.” With both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, something dynamic transformed our U.S. military service members and increased the military suicide rates. signs are always there; it’s just a matter of making leadership accountable in regards to directing treatment. Bloxom is a former Staff Sergeant and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran currently pursuing a higher education with hopeful ambitions of attending Rutgers University’s joint JD/MBA program. As an influx of U.S. military war veterans joins the ranks of higher education, we as educators have an obligation to support our heroes when they need us to do our part.

Many service members are leaving the military ranks and beginning their academic journeys due to the availability of education benefits they have earned while serving our nation. With these new students landing in colleges and universities nationwide,
academic leadership needs to understand suicide warning signs. Here are some common suicide warning signs taken from Suicide.org, an organization dedicated to preventing suicide:

  • Previous suicide attempt or behavior that has led to sefl-injury

  • Somatic symptoms, including sleep and pain complaints

  • Stressors such as marital or intimate relationship issues, legal, housing,
    and occupational problems

  • Current or pending disciplinary or legal action

  • Substance misuse

  • Problems with a major life transition (e.g., retirement, discharge, divorce, etc.)

  • Loss of a fellow warrior

  • Setbacks in military career or personal life

  • Severe, prolonged stress that seems unmanageable

  • Sense of powerlessness, helplessness or hopelessness

  • Behavior that isolates service members from friends, family members and
    educators

What is important to understand is that someone need not be an expert in suicide prevention to prevent a suicide.
The key is to have open eyes, communicate relentlessly and help the person rediscover that suicide can never be an option. Kevin Caruso from Suicide.org stated that 75 percent of those who die by suicide have some suicide warning signs. Our motivation must first be to save that 75 percent.

Suicide prevention

Suicide prevention should never be the responsibility of the experts; suicide is the responsibility of all. When we witness someone exhibiting suicide warning signs, we need to do everything we can to help them. Today, with the Internet and social media, a simple Google search provides endless ways to get help. Social networking websites for suicide prevention can connect people with common
experiences. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Facebook pages provide links to suicide prevention websites and hotlines, as well as information about the warning signs of suicide. The power of communicating through social media can help us become more current with our reality. Today, social media is sharing ideas, valuable information and solutions at speeds that no organization could possibly hope to match. Colleges and universities can also
benefit from this limitless communication tool.

Every college and university has an internal suicide prevention reporting structure and resource. Research the
resources in your community and have this information available before you need it. Education from these sources is the best way help identify and prevent such a significant public health problem among U.S. military service members who are now enrolled at or entering colleges and universities nationwide.

Many universities’ suicide prevention programs engage in deploying various
technological mechanisms, including online training courses, social networking
and the sheer power of social media. Using the power of technology, we are
releasing the integral aspects of a comprehensive suicide prevention program.

This article is by no means a conclusion but only one chapter in
encouraging suicide prevention. As best said by Bloxom, “The problem to avoid is becoming an example at the next suicide awareness briefing.

Our goal as educators is to use the unlimited power of knowledge to reduce or eliminate suicide examples. We have become a key component to the solution regardless if we are ready or not, and we are now a part of the first line of defense for preventing soldier suicides.

Short list of suicide prevention resources:

References:

Britton, P., Ilgen, M.,
Valenstein, M., Knox, K., Claassen, C., & Conner, K. R. (2012). Differences
Between Veteran Suicides With and Without Psychiatric Symptoms. American Journal
Of Public Health, 102(S1), S125-S130.

Caruso, K., 2013. Suicide
Warning Signs.

Suicide.org is a 501c3
NON-PROFIT Organization and Website.

Christodoulou, C. C.,
Douzenis, A. A., Papadopoulos, F. C., Papadopoulou, A. A., Bouras, G. G.,
Gournellis, R. R., & Lykouras, L. L. (2012). Suicide and seasonality. Acta
Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 125(2), 127-146. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01750.x

Clinical digest. Steep rise
in soldier suicides coincides with military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(2012). Nursing Standard, 26(31), 15.

Griffith, J. (2012). Army
Suicides: “Knowns” and an Interpretative Framework for Future Directions.
Military Psychology, 24(5), 488-512.

Jones, M. D., Etherage, J.
R., Harmon, S., & Okiishi, J. C. (2012). Acceptability and cost-effectiveness of
military telehealth mental health screening. Psychological Services, 9(2),
132-143. doi:10.1037/a0026709

Judd, F., Jackson, H.,
Komiti, A., Bell, R., & Fraser, C. (2012). The profile of suicide: changing or
changeable?. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 47(1), 1-9.
doi:10.1007/s00127-010-0306-z

Manning, J., & VanDeusen,
K. (2011). Suicide Prevention in the Dot Com Era: Technological Aspects of a
University Suicide Prevention Program. Journal Of American College Health,
59(5), 431-433.

McCarthy, J., Blow, F.,
Ignacio, R., Ilgen, M., Austin, K., & Valenstein, M. (2012). Suicide Among
Patients in the Veterans Affairs Health System: Rural-Urban Differences in
Rates, Risks, and Methods. American Journal Of Public Health, 102(S1),
S111-S117.

McCloskey, M., 2012. More
soldier suicides than combat deaths in 2012. (2012, December 20). America’s
Intelligence Wire from McClatchy-Tribune Regional News – The Salt Lake Tribune –
Utah)

Lineberry, T. W., &
O’Connor, S. S. (2012). Suicide in the US Army. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 87(9),
871+.

Luxton, D. D., June, J. D.,
& Fairall, J. M. (2012). Social Media and Suicide: A Public Health Perspective.
American Journal of Public Health. 102(2), 195-200.

Parish, C., (2012)
Introduction of interventions led to decrease in suicides. (2012). Mental Health
Practice, 15(6), 5.

Pigeon, W., Britton, P.,
Ilgen, M., Chapman, B., & Conner, K. (2012). Sleep Disturbance Preceding Suicide
Among Veterans. American Journal Of Public Health, 102(S1), S93-S97.

Wiederhold, B. K. (n.d).
Lowering Suicide Risk in Returning Troops.

Career College Central

IDENTIFYING THE SIGNS – Military Students at Risk originally published, Career College Central Magazine May 2013 Edition

by AMERICAN WRITER Dr. Pietro Savo Tradition Books Publication © 2011

Business

Manufacturing Research Practitioner ™ by Dr. Pietro

Education Blog Directory

Read, write, and question everything!
Our voices are powerful and true!

Pietro Savo E-Mail Link Dr.Pete@EducationIsPower.US

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Transitioning American Veterans

Transitioning American Veterans

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).

Download and read the entire article featured in Career College Central Magazine, July 2012 addition page 50

by AMERICAN WRITER Dr. Pietro Savo Tradition Books Publication © 2012

Manufacturing Research Practitioner ™ by Dr. Pietro Savo

Read, write, and question everything!Our voices are powerful and true!

Dr. Pietro Savo E-Mail Link blog@americanwriter.us

American Writer a Positive Thinking Movement by Dr. Pietro Savo

Dr. Pietro Savo