This study describes the development of a strength-based program to capitalize on veterans’ assets when transitioning into higher education. The program uses occupational therapy concepts throughout a veteran centric colloquium course. This assists veterans in establishing new habits and routines crucial for maintaining good mental and psychosocial health during times of transition.
Many veterans entering higher education institutions are struggling with integrating into the university culture. Many report feelings of alienation, challenges with access, matriculation, experiencing financial need, and difficulty with degree completion. This profile describes the road map that led to the development of a strength-based program to capitalize on veterans’ assets during the reintegration to higher education process at a smaller higher education institution. The program described here is the result of five years of observation and research findings on student veteran reintegration and higher education at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). The result is a cost-effective course that integrates classroom instruction and community based, service-learning components to address student veterans’ needs and assist them as they transition to higher education. The challenges involved in implementing such an initiative are discussed.
Belanger, B., Steele, A., & Philhower, K. (2021). Tailoring Higher Education Options for Smaller Institutions to Meet Veterans’ Needs: Enhancing Inclusion in Higher Education: Practical Solutions by Veterans for Veterans. Journal of Veterans Studies, 7(1), 138–147. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v7i1.229