Panel: Teaching and Learning with Student Veterans
The past 14 months have led us to rethink many of our assumptions about teaching and learning. Prominent among these is the notion of the “traditional” student, age 18-22, who joins college immediately after K-12. While this generalization has long been questioned, especially as it relates to our approaches in the classroom, the pandemic underscored that all students have their own unique experiences, backgrounds, and struggles.
Student veterans and service members bring valuable perspectives to our learning environments. A 2020 Ithaka S+R brief finds that “student veterans enhance campus diversity through their socioeconomic and racial backgrounds and through their diverse lived experiences.” Given our deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Kentucky, we would do well to reflect on how our learning environments and communities foster a sense of belonging as well as academic success for our veterans and service members.
This panel will include faculty and student perspectives on issues that are critical to the student veteran experience. Moreover, we will reflect broadly on what is needed to support students who may be starting or returning to their education after some time in the workforce and/or with family and other responsibilities. These inquiries will help us meet the moment during a time when we are rethinking our approaches to teaching and student support at a fundamental level; as Kevin Gannon reminds us, inclusive pedagogy “benefits all students” as well as “those at whose needs it was originally aimed.”