Loyola helps veterans ease transition to college life
A new University course for veteran students helps them address the unique challenges of going from the military to the classroom
Adjusting to college can be difficult for any new student, but those who come to campus after serving in the military have a unique transition. To help these students make a smooth shift to life at Loyola, the University has developed a new course specifically designed to meet their needs.
The one-credit course, which launched last fall, is adapted from the University’s general transition courses. All incoming freshmen are required to take a college transition course, and a modified version was created for transfer students.
Anita Lumpkin, Loyola’s coordinator of Military Veteran Student Services, says it made sense to adapt that course for veterans so they could work through their shared experience together.
“As a default, the class becomes a safe space for veteran students,” she says. “They get to discuss their common identity and common struggles, which can be hard to explain to non-veterans.”
The class covers many of the same topics as the course for transfer students, such as connecting to Loyola’s mission and identity and locating resources on campus. But it also helps veterans unpack their military service and provides information on benefits available to them through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Currently, Loyola has 165 undergraduate or graduate students who are military veterans. Those who took the pilot course found it helpful in making the adjustment to college, Lumpkin says.
“Veteran students, particularly those who have served in combat, have a different transition need than our traditional college-age students,” she says. “The class hopes to meet that need in a meaningful way.”