Veterans and Military
Veterans and Military Assistance
There are an increasing number of veterans, active military, and dependents enrolling at our University. The purpose of this page is to assist you in identifying some of the unique issues these students may face and to provide direction in helping these students get the assistance they need.
While there are a variety of offices that play a part in assisting these students, a primary resources available to this population is the Veteran Student Services staff in the Oldham Family Veteran Student Center. Their general contact information is below.
The benefit approval process these students must navigate can be challenging. Courses must be certified as meeting degree needs, and the processing of benefits can back up at times. This could cause unique challenges for students trying to pay for classes, fees, and books. If you encounter a student who indicates they are unable to purchase books, it is important to remind them that books can be charged to their University account if purchased through the University Bookstore. Students might also be able to pursue rentals through third-party vendors.
The staff in Veteran Student Services are very knowledgeable about the various veteran, active military, and dependent benefit options. Please refer students to them if they have questions about their benefits.
Meeting Other Veterans and Military Students
If the student is looking for opportunities to connect with other veterans and military students, the Veteran Student Lounge is a great place to do that. Located in Meyer Library 108, students can study at a computer or socialize in a comfortable atmosphere. The lounge is staffed by Veteran Education Transition (V.E.T.) Student Liaisons who can help with general questions and information.
Another socialization opportunity is to get involved with the Veteran Student Organization (VSO). This is a student-lead organization that helps these students connect to support each other.
Unique Classroom and Course Registration Issues
These are a few tips passed on by Veteran Student Services staff related to classroom participation and registration advisement.
- Some veterans may prefer to sit at the back of the classroom. This has nothing to do with you as the instructor or with the student’s interest in your course. For some veterans, as a result of their service experience, they may prefer to sit at the back of a room as it may make the student uncomfortable to not be able to see the entire room.
- “12 hours is not 12 hours.” What is meant by this is that veterans have unique certification requirements that can affect the way these students should be academically advised. A primary example relates to their student status. For example, a veteran student enrolled in 12 credits for the semester would be considered full-time generally, but may not be for benefit purposes if those 12 credits are not concurrently enrolled. For example, a student taking 3 credits during intersession and 9 credits during the traditional semester would not be eligible for full veteran’s benefits.
- Waitlisting can be problematic for these students. Since benefits are dependent on certification of course enrollment, last-minute schedule changes such as waitlisting can lead to delays and/or problems for the student in getting their classes certified and receiving their benefits.
- Students may have course absences due to required military training and or Veterans Administration medical appointments. The University’s attendance policy indicates an expectation of instructors to be reasonable in accommodating students whose absence is for this reason.
Some of these students may get called into active duty with little notice, and this can occur at any time. Students may or may not have time to communicate with you. Active duty can be as brief as a couple of weeks or can be as long as multiple years. If a student is called into active duty, Veteran Student Services will receive a copy of the student’s duty orders and will contact instructors in accordance with the University’s Military Activation Policy. In situations where the duty is brief, it may be possible to work with the student to make up assignments during the semester of enrollment or after the semester through an incomplete grade. In other situations, the student may be forced to drop their enrollment.
Mental Health Assistance
Some of these students may be challenged with adjusting to life outside of the military. Some of the experiences these students have faced may affect the mental health of the student where assistance is needed. The Counseling Center is available to assist students in search of mental health assistance.
How Do I Know If A Student Is A Veteran?
In many cases, if the student needs assistance, they will self-identify their status. There is also a Veteran/Active Military indicator in the Student Information box on the student’s Advising Notes and Releases page in My Missouri State.
Is There Training Available Related to Better Serving Veteran/Active Military Students?
Periodically, Veteran Student Services will offer Boots to Books: Advising and Teaching Veterans. This is a three-hour workshop. Information about this and other advisor forums and workshops can be found on the Academic Advising and Transfer Center’s Academic Advisor Forum website.