Volume 19, Issue 1 - January 2015

Introduction

Karen Vignare
University of Maryland University College

Kristen Betts
Drexel University

Kathryn Snead
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges

Thomas Bailey
University of Maryland University College

Melissa Layne and Elizabeth Wallace
American Public University System

This special edition of Online Learning focuses on research and best practices for serving military personnel. Military students can be found at almost every higher education institution (Ford & Vignare, 2015; Cate & Albright, 2015) in the US. The authors and editors share with the readers a range of articles which commence with a review of literature, and include articles on using technology effectively for online military learners, building a more comprehensive understanding of military students, helping military personnel successfully transfer to the role of students, and building academic programs designed for such students. These articles build a research base for current- generation military learners engaged in military service after September 2001. The military personnel increase since 2001 and the current downsizing leading to large veteran population has created a unique opportunity to build the research base and understanding of online military learners, online institutions and military learners in general.

The Evolving Military Learner Population: A Review of the Literature

Kate Ford and Karen Vignare
University of Maryland University College

This literature review examines the evolving online military learner population with emphasis on current generation military learners, who were most frequently Post-9/11 veterans. The review synthesizes recent scholarly and grey literature on military learner demographics and attributes, college experiences, and academic outcomes against a backdrop of conceptual frameworks addressing adult...

An Analysis of Supports for Persistence in the Military Student Population

Bruce D Mentzer, Ellen Lowrie Black, and R. Terry Spohn
Liberty University

This study sought to describe the correlation of academic, financial, and social supports to the persistence of a military student population: veterans, active duty, and their families. The study also contrasted these relationships with non-military students and looked at the results of the overall group to persistence. Results confirmed the...

Supporting Student Veterans: Utilizing Game-Based Role-Plays with Virtual Humans to Build Military Cultural Competency and Helping Behaviors in Faculty and Staff

Chris Andrew Cate
Student Veterans of America

Glenn Albright
Baruch College, City University of New York

Veterans and military service members enter the classroom with valuable life and leadership experience; however, transitioning to student life represents unique challenges. Like the larger veteran population, student veterans may bring to campus the negative aftereffects of their combat experiences in the form of post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, depression, and...

Planning for Veterans' Success: The Degree Map as an Advising Solution

Tracey M Richardson
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Due of the expected influx of veterans attending college, it is critical that higher education not only be cognizant of the projected growth, but take a proactive stand and properly plan for these students’ success. Academic planning begins with the advising professionals developing open communications and be able to guide...

Bridging the Gap: Technology and Veteran Academic Success

David Cass
University of Colorado, Boulder

Shane Hammond
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

This paper presents two unique yet confluent perspectives regarding the use of technology to support student veterans in college, and is meant to ignite discussion of the blending of high impact practices with technology to promote their academic success. The authors highlight the historical trends of student veterans in the...

Rules of Engagement: Considering Good Policy and Practice with Online Military Learners

David Starr-Glass
University of New York in Prague

In online distance learning environments military learners are not particularly obvious or distinctive; however, they do possess a degree of difference that needs to be recognized. The military can be considered to possess a Janusian culture; two distinctive cultural patterns that emerge in different situations. The culture they display in...

Building an Accelerated Online Graduate Program for Military Officers

Royce Ann Collins, Haijun Kang, Susan Yelich Biniecki, and Judy Favor
Kansas State University

Because of the intense and unique nature of their military life, military officers face challenges that other students do not need to be concerned about when taking courses online. An institution’s ability to understand these military officer students, design online programs to meet their unique learning needs, and deliver valuable...

A Core Course on Veterans' Health in an Online RN to BSN Program

Elaine Keavney
American Public University System

The Joining Forces Initiative challenges nursing programs throughout the country to develop curriculum that address the unique healthcare issues facing veterans. This article describes how the RN to BSN program at American Public University System responded to the Joining Forces Initiative by developing the core curriculum course, Caring for Today’s...

Online Training for Working with Student Veterans: A Social Work Elective Course

Katherine Selber, Mary Jo Garcia Biggs, Nancy Feyl Chavkin, and Micah C. Wright
Texas State University

This article describes one school of social work’s innovative online elective course to prepare Masters of Social Work (MSW) students for practice with the military, veterans, and their families. Developed as part of a university-wide Veterans Initiative, this online course keeps the focus on the student veteran and uses best...