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This part will offer the summary of the article Vance, M., and Miller II, W. K. (2009). Serving Wounded Warriors: Current Practices in Postsecondary Education. Journal of Postsecondary Education & Disability, 22(1), 18-35. The summary will focus on identifying the research questions/hypothesis, review of the methodology, summary of the findings and identification of limitations or critiques of the research.
This research sought to find out the present performances in postsecondary education that are meant to serve wounded warriors (veterans with various types of disabilities). The aim of the survey was to offer the types and numbers of disabilities that are served by the postsecondary education. Besides, the survey sought to find out the kind of accommodation offered to veterans with disabilities. In order to answer the research questions, various participants were chosen to participate in survey aimed at attaining the same.
In order to carry out the survey successfully, the Association of Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD) requested participation from 2,500 affiliates and members to complete a survey containing 29 questions on the present performances employed by postsecondary education to serve wounded warriors. Out of these, only two hundred and thirty seven surveys were fully completed and were employed for the survey. The participation was voluntary and those who participated were assured anonymity, permitted to omit the questions they desire, and also, leave the survey as they wished. The data was analyzed using SPSS with an aim of identifying percent responses and frequency to the area of survey.
Summary of the Findings
Out of the respondents who participated in the survey, 33 percent felt that the campus put efforts to serve the veterans with disabilities. Nevertheless, most of the respondents felt that it was essential to establish a campus that was warrior friendly by lessening red tape. In addition, respondents categorized the most often used academic accommodations as online/evening courses, curricular adjustments, and evening services.
Limitations of the Research
The main limitation of this research was that the entire rate of response of 9.5 percent was very low for such a statistical study. Besides, follow up research was not feasible as a result of the anonymous responses and low rate of response. Moreover, such essential information as educational background, experience, length of service and position were not included in the survey.
Outline of Literature Review
This study will entail a literature review framework covering a number of areas, which include the coming of veterans to colleges, the consequences as well as the nature of the transition coming to college for the veteran students and transition theory. Universities and colleges in the United States are experiencing the influx of many wounded warriors, whose current experiences encompass witnessing their comrade’s death, tracking battle mission through the use of computers, being shot, clearance of dead bodies or shooting others. According to studies, during their return, the soldiers may experience difficulties relating to friends and families, in addition to the physical and mental injuries they obtain, thus experiencing loss after being separated from their colleagues. Besides, veterans who enroll to colleges generally face various challenges. For instance, in trying to access veteran administration (VA) benefits from education frequently involves enduring confusing processes and delays. In order to succeed, colleges should ensure they offer flexible policies for admissions as well as provision of funds to the military service. The administrators and educators of the higher education made a prediction that the veterans would be interested in taking heavy class loads for them to cover up for the lost time. This as a result would exert pressures on the faculty and the education system to offer more classes or lower the standards to avoid clogging the system. Certainly, studies have proven that the veterans who were returning to college from the military had a remarkable desire to succeed.
This study will entail a literature review framework covering a number of areas, which include the coming of veterans to colleges, the consequences as well as the nature of the transition coming to college for the veteran students and transition theory (Bound and Turner, 2002). To begin with, the literature will present the profiles of the veteran students throughout the year. Further, it will explain the adjustment and transition experiences of these students. Evidently, the historical perspective will give an overview in a number of subjects. For instance, the impact of returning veterans on higher education, how the needs of the past as well as current veterans have been addressed by universities and colleges as well as the issues arising as a result of the veterans adjusting to the college life (Elliott et al., 2011).
Currently, the United States universities are experiencing an increased arrival of veteran students who have suffered injuries, undergone chronic stress, and presently, show symptoms of previous Traumatic Stress Disorder (TSD) (Elliott et al., 2011). This part will offer a literature review and it will focus on the Transition to College for United States Military Veterans.
Universities and colleges in the United States are experiencing the influx of many wounded warriors, whose current experiences encompass witnessing their comrade’s death, tracking battle mission through the use of computers, being shot, clearance of dead bodies or shooting others (Elliott et al., 2011). Multiple and lengthy deployments merged with arduous battle experiences contain a legacy of exposure to stress amongst the student veterans’ everyday lives. Various studies have been carried out on this topic of the Transition to College for the United States Military Veterans. One of such study was the recent one performed in 2008 with an intention of using the stress procedure theory with the aim of explaining the determinants of PTSD and its effects by the use of data, which was obtained from one hundred and twenty four university student veterans, twenty on duty plus several others who were discharged from the United States military (Elliott et al., 2011). To ensure efficiency, the participants used for the study had served in the military in the last ten years. The data obtained was used to demonstrate the impacts of resources and stressors on student veteran, social integration and mental health in the university. The implications of this study encompassed recommendations for the professional in student affairs whose main aim is to maximize persistence, academic success and retention amongst student veterans (Elliott et al., 2011).
Apparently, military fighters have various stressors including being involved in violent relationships, or living in extremely dangerous environments (Campbell, 2002). Besides, the battle that can be described as one of the main stressful experience encompasses cognitive, spiritual, physical, social and emotional challenges (Nash, 2008). This exposure to harsh environments, pressure to attack other people, threat of being attacked and propinquity to dismemberment as well as death consist of a practical minefield of stressors exposed to service members during their time of service. During their return, the soldiers may experience difficulties relating to friends and families, in addition to the physical and mental injuries they obtain, thus experiencing loss after being separated from their colleagues. As a result, some of the student veterans may opt for more challenges of joining a university or college.
Veterans who enroll to colleges generally face various challenges. For instance, in trying to access veteran administration (VA) benefits from education frequently involves enduring confusing processes and delays (Bound and Turner, 2002). In addition to this, such practices as being one boss, being required to structure schedules and challenging authority are normally adversative to military training. Besides, as put forth by the Bound and Turner (2002) learning together with students who in most cases are much younger, ignorant concerning military service, less respectful, and critical of some of the conflicts where veterans are involved is also very challenging.
According to studies, some veterans have battle linked disabilities which in most cases makes it difficult their transition to university life (Elliott et al., 2011). Although, some veterans have survived battlefield injuries, studies have revealed that most of them have long lasting predicaments, encompassing an approximation of 19 percent of the survivors having traumatic brain injury, which in turn results in high risks of PTSD and chronic pain. PTSD is linked with various causes including alcohol abuse, poor physical health, troubled family linkages and problems with intimacy (Elliott et al., 2011). According to researchers, these factors combined together usually affect the abilities of veterans to succeed in their studies.
Another study carried out to find out the types and numbers of disabilities that are served by the postsecondary education in addition to finding out the kind of accommodation offered to veterans with disabilities was carried out in 2009 (Vance and Miller II, 2009). Out of the two hundred and thirty seven fully completed surveys, 33 percent felt that the campus put efforts to serve the veterans with disabilities. Nevertheless, most of the respondents felt that it was essential to establish a campus that was warrior friendly by lessening red tape. In addition, respondents categorized the most often-used academic accommodations as online/evening courses, curricular adjustments, and evening services (Vance and Miller II, 2009).
Certainly, they lack any effort from the national level to help student veterans enrolling in higher education. Nevertheless, studies have proven that associating with other veterans on colleges assist student veterans in their transition to campus life (DiRamio et al., 2008). Besides, colleges have been revealed by studies as being veteran friendly when they provide novel student orientation, which is directed towards veterans, resource centers of veterans on campuses and student veteran organizations (DiRamio et al., 2008). Incorporation in higher education is essential to student retention and it encompasses positive communication with support personnel, faculty and students. Some of the interventions that can be put in place to boost student integration encompass learning communities, seminars, and peer mentoring (Kuh et al., 2008; Lau, 2008). Besides, such interventions as student organizations, which celebrate social and academic support and student diversity targeted at particular groups, are deemed beneficial and efficient for student veterans.
Studies indicate that higher education enrollment grew tremendously between the First and the Second World War. The enrollment growth of Post-World War II can be largely linked to the student veterans who found their way to college (Altbach, 2005). The Servicemen‘s Readjustment Act of 1944 also referred to as the GI Bill provided educational funding for veterans enrolling in college after their military service (Bound and Turner, 2002). Due to these reasons, the enrollment of the veterans to the colleges was very high to a point where it almost overwhelmed the colleges and the universities in the United States (Altbach, 2005). According to scholars, the GI Bill was a golden opportunity for the veterans to join college, as otherwise they could have not enjoyed it (Altbach, 2005). It is apparent that the veteran students who joined the universities and colleges did not only increase the number of students in the institutions, but it also brought about students with different needs, desires as well as characteristics as compared to the non-veteran students (Clark 1998). The administrators and the educators of the time feared that the veteran students would join the institutions unprepared academically. In addition, they felt that the veteran students would only use their resources without pursuing the University degree, and as a result, lower the academic standards of these institutions, while creating a burden to the college as well as the university (Bound and Turner, 2002). However, this was a vague assumption as the veteran students excelled brilliantly in their education.
Besides, following the passage of the GI Bill, the administrators of the universities and the colleges suggested ways in which these institutions could support and offer accommodation to the veteran students (Altbach, 2005). They gave several suggestions, which included flexible policies for admissions as well as provision of funds to the military service. The administrators and educators of the higher education made a prediction that the veterans would be interested in taking heavy class loads for them to cover up for the lost time. This as a result would exert pressures on the faculty and the education system to offer more classes or lower the standards to avoid clogging the system (Cohen, 1998). A research was carried out to investigate the kind of problems that the veteran students were facing as they joined and adjusted to college, in particular, the researchers sought to understand the characteristics as well as the characteristics that the veterans gained while in military (Cohen, 1998). Further, they wanted to know how these skills and characteristics could be used to assist them to adjust and have a transition to the college life in a successful and positive manner. From the research, it was apparent that the veterans who were returning to college from the military had a remarkable desire to succeed. They were found to have a performance level of very high standards. In addition, they were very eager to yield positive results in a short time. However, they faced some difficulty as a population with how to navigate the higher education system in order to get the right resources for starting the processes of these institutions (Altbach, 2005). The veterans also struggled with the aspect of joining college late. Due to this reason, they felt it was very hard to transit into life in the colleges (Cohen, 1998). Besides, they experienced problems trying to part with the military life, attitudes and habits, which were used in the process of adjusting to the civilian life (Altbach, 2005). It is apparent that as the veterans left the military experiences, they experienced lack of confidence and capacity to succeed.
Moreover, the experts had an expectation that the veterans from the World War II would bring high-level maturity to the institutions than their non-veteran counterparts (Altbach, 2005). Evidently, this was generally the case. The level of maturity of the veterans resulted in a gap between the veteran students and the non-veteran students. As a result, this changed the face of the student population, influencing the expectations of the students on the higher education system (Livingston, 2009).
The veteran students unlike the non-veteran students joined college and universities with a focused goal, a sense of purpose as well as no drivel attitude since they had specific objectives that they intended to attain (Livingston, 2009). For instance, the veterans who had families or were planning to have families saw college as an opportunity for them to work towards achieving their dreams to support their families. Their aim was to complete their college education and find jobs, so as they can continue with their lives (Livingston, 2009). As a result, the veteran students were quickly known as pragmatic, hardworking as well as those in a hurry to complete their college degrees. However, due to these characteristics, veterans of the World War II placed themselves under heavy pressure to take on the role of a college student versus the role of the soldier successfully (Altbach, 2005).
According to studies, the Vietnam War was not popular. College campuses became the center of protest and activism against the war as well as the draft (Cohen, 1998). Due to the unpopularity of the war, the veteran students were identified as exceptional and vulnerable (Bound and Turner, 2002). The administrative was concerned with providing a safe environment for the veterans joining college (Livingston, 2009). Studies indicate that the constriction ended in 1973, making the military an all-volunteer force (Livingston, 2009). Because of this, the nature of the GI Bill as well as the recruiting strategies being used by the armed forces changed. This forced the military to compete with civilian employers as those eligible to serve in the military faced a choice of entering the military, going to college, or entering the work force after completing high school (Livingston, 2009).
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