CTU’s Dr. Steve Staley Works for Student Veteran Success
Dr. Steve Staley, Professor of Humanities at Colorado Technical University, recently attended a three-day conference dedicated to help United States veterans succeed in college. The event, held April 4-6 in Columbia, South Carolina, brought together approximately 50 educational leaders from across the country.
Staley is also a retired United States Air Force Colonel, and attended to discuss veteran needs on campus. The agenda included:
• Integrating veterans into campus culture
• Working with veterans with disabilities
• Understanding and treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Preparing faculty to teach veterans and special courses for veterans
• Demands on military families, support programs, and services
“For me, the highlight of the conference was the networking we were able to accomplish, establishing bonds of common purpose and commitment with other academic professionals from around the country,” Dr. Staley said.
Across the country, Dr. Staley said educators are noticing an uptick in veteran attendance.
“That’s the reason this Institute for the Success of Student Veterans is so important,” he said. “Schools are working hard to set up Veteran and Military Centers – places where student veterans can feel understood, valued, and supported on campus.”
One of the most memorable aspects of the conference, for Dr. Staley, was attending a panel comprised of veterans who are students. During the panel, three veterans enrolled in various programs at the University of South Carolina told the audience of their experiences transitioning from combat to college.
“It was important to hear directly from these students how crucial the mentoring and guidance was that they received from individual counselors, faculty, and veterans center personnel.” Dr. Staley said. “Here at the Colorado Technical University Colorado Springs campus, our student veterans tell us very much the same thing.”
From help with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to navigating the GI Bill, to the individual attention and understanding from experienced and empathetic faculty, Staley said CTU students consistently testify that the university helps them make this difficult transition, not only in the classroom but also in preparing for life after graduation.