Seaman Erin Koecke takes notes during an intermediate college algebra course aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elliott Fabrizio)
Jim Hardiman is a licensed clinical social worker and substance abuse counselor. Prior to joining DCoE, he served as a regional care coordinator for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. He has provided mental health services for patients and their families for more than two decades. Hardiman writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on various psychological health conditions affecting our service members, veterans and their families—offering encouragement or “A Corner of Hope” for our readers.
Since the original inception of the GI Bill in 1944 (my dad took advantage of this one), the face of the military undergraduate student has changed. According to a 2009 study by the American Council on Education (ACE), during the 2007-08 academic year, military undergraduates were:
- Younger than most veterans (85 percent were age 24 or older)
- Women (27 percent of all military undergraduates)
- More likely to be non-white than most veterans and traditional undergraduates
Military students face numerous challenges, such as:
- Balancing school with marriage and raising children
- Working while going to school
- Cultural barriers in adjusting to college and campus life
- Dealing with individuals who have no idea what military service entails
Additionally, with the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some military undergraduates may be experiencing psychological health and traumatic brain injury conditions.