Choosing a college can be challenging for anyone, but as a veteran, you want to ensure that you select an educational institution that understands your experiences. To help you know what to look for, we sat down with Senior Director of Student Success Initiatives at ASU, Nicolette Miller, who has firsthand experience working with veterans returning to school. Here are her thoughts:
What support should veterans be looking for when choosing a college?
Students should select a college that has dedicated support for their unique needs. There are a lot of nuances with applying for military benefits. Attending a university with specialized and dedicated military and veteran programs can help eliminate funding barriers as well as recognize life experience and the challenges that veteran students might encounter as they acclimate to a new life and routine and balance their studies.
It’s helpful to select a university with an established community of students who provide peer encouragement. At ASU Online, we have a dedicated success coaching team that is specially trained to understand the unique needs of veterans, active-duty military and family members or dependents. The Pat Tillman Veterans Center at ASU, which assists both campus and online students, understands the challenges that our veteran, military and dependent student population faces and helps simplify the academic process and build a successful college experience.
What programs are best for veterans reentering the workforce?
We often see our veteran students enter STEM fields based on their military experience. We also offer degree programs such as a Master of Arts in Global Security which appeals to those with military backgrounds. It trains students to critically engage global conflict and international security in a comprehensive manner designed to aid professional advancement in the military, government and private sector careers.
Programs like ASU Online also offer resources for students that may be unsure of what degree they would like to pursue or what careers might be a good fit for them. We offer enrollment coaching guidance as well as tools to help narrow down the programs that best align with their educational and professional goals.
How do I find a school that will offer course credit for my military training and experience?
Students should look for schools that accept Joint Services Transcripts (JST) and/or Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) Transcripts. The CCAF is a regionally accredited community college. If students received credit for courses taken through the CCAF while serving in the Air Force, they will submit this transcript as part of their undergraduate application. The JST will be reviewed for possible transfer credit as well.
What’s your advice for achieving a balance between academics and work when pursuing an online degree?
Identify and leverage a network of family and friends or through ASU Online with a Success Coach. Our coaches will help you formulate a plan to manage your time and set incremental goals as you navigate your degree program. They will also help you navigate the variety of resources that are available to you as a student. Expect the unexpected. Obstacles will come up along the way, but your Success Coach is available to help you overcome any academic or personal challenges you may encounter and provide you with the tools to allow you to continue your progress toward graduation.
What should I be considering as I research online degree programs?
First and foremost, you should ensure your university is regionally accredited and has a solid technology platform, flexibility and great support from staff and faculty. It’s important your university puts students first and surrounds them with a community that is committed to their success.