Green Zone Program
The process of transitioning from the military to civilian life can pose challenges for all service members, veterans and their families. In order for advisers, faculty, staff, and peers to better serve this population of students, they all need to be aware of the potential challenges a service member, student veteran and their families might face when attending college.
Due to the unique needs of student veterans, UWL will be establishing a Green Zone designation program, where faculty and staff receive training about issues potentially facing active service members, student veterans, and their families. Through this cross-cultural learning opportunity, the Green Zone program will provide faculty and staff with an understanding of the military experience of military connected students and families as they transition from the military to campus life. This training opportunity will also bring awareness of community resources available to military connected students and families on and off our campus.
UWL's Green Zone training is earned by completing the virtual Kognito training. Those who complete the training will get a Green Zone sticker to place in their office or workspace to show their commitment to helping student veterans transition to the college classroom. These individuals are not expected to be experts in veterans services, but they can lend an ear to students in need and identify and connect the student with appropriate resources within the campus or in the community.
Green Zone Participants
Campus Climate & Diversity
Karmin Van Domelen
Center for Advancing Teaching & Learning
Chemistry & Biochemistry
College of Liberal Studies
College of Science and Health
Counseling & Testing
Ethnic & Racial Studies
Exercise & Sport Science
Financial Aid Office
Geography & Earth Science
Health Education & Health Promotion
Information Technology Services
Institution for Professional Studies in Education
Mathematics and Statistics
Multicultural Student Services
Parking & Transportation
Mary Jo Snow
Records & Registration
Recreational Management & Therapeutic Recreation
Small Business Development Center
Laurie Cooper Stoll
Student Affairs Administration
Student Life Office
Student Support Services
Willem Van Roosenbeek
Kasie Von Haden
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Top Ten Green Zone tips
- Realize veterans are nontraditional students, a special population of financially independent adults often juggling family, work, and studies.
- Be aware that not all the veterans in your classroom are male. More women are serving, and are almost as likely as their male counterparts to have experienced firsthand traumas of war. One in four veteran students are women. (Newbold & Balmer, 2012)
- Veterans generally possess discipline, structure, and a strong work ethic. Remember that the military teaches team connection and completion skills.
- With some awareness and sensitivity on the instructor’s part, veteran life experiences become assets, adding to the diversity of perspectives represented in classrooms. These life experiences can help both veterans and nonveterans gain a broader, more nuanced perspective on the world or class subject. (Kreuter, 2012)
- A secured classroom can provide veterans with feelings of safety. Veterans may be sensitive to triggers such as surprises, loud noises, and chaos. Be cautious about images of injury, dismemberment and death, and provide advanced warning before displaying such images. (Newbold & Balmer, 2012)
- Veterans view the instructor as the leader of the classroom and typically respect decisiveness. Treat veterans as adults, as this is what they expect. Instructors should have effective classroom management policies in place. (Newbold & Balmer, 2012)
- Veterans may be reluctant to talk about their military experiences. Conversely, some may inadvertently dominate class discussions, in which cases boundaries for the nature and quantity of class participation need to be set, preferably in private, without calling the student out in front of the class. Don’t try to relate to experiences that you don’t share – if you haven’t been in combat, don’t pretend that you understand what it or its aftermath is like. (Kreuter, 2012)
- Keep the syllabus (mission) clear with specific tasks and dates. Be available for assistance and added support or referral. Veterans may not easily admit when they are struggling. (Grasgreen, 2013)
- Understand that not everything in these Top Ten tips applies to every veteran. They are all unique individuals with unique needs, and we do not want to engage in false assumptions about veterans.
- One example of how you can help is to use the resources provided on this page to refer veteran student to services on campus. It is helpful to confirm that you are referring correctly by making a phone call before sending the student to the referral source.
A New Generation of Leaders. (n.d.). The Mission Continues.
Balmer, T. D., (2012, November 30). Military Pride. Presentation at the Statewide Conference on Serving Student Veterans, Edmond, OK.
Boodman, S.G. (2011, November 28). Veterans find that their transition from combat to college can be difficult. The Washington Post: Health & Science.
Beuter, S. (2012, April 10). Vets Help Others Move From Combat to College. National Public Radio.
Grasgreen, A. (2013, January 10). If You Build It, Will They Come? Inside Higher Ed.
Griffin, K., & Gilbert C. (2012, April). Easing the Transition from Combat to Classroom: Preserving America’s Investment in Higher Education for Military Veterans Through Institutional Assessment (PDF). Center for American Progress.
Kreuter, N. (2012, November 12). Veterans in the Classroom. Inside Higher Ed, Tyro Tracts.
Newbold, L., & Balmer, T.D. (2012, November 30). Combat to College. Presentation at the Statewide Conference on Serving Student Veterans, Edmond, OK.
Sander, L. (2012, April 1). Veterans Journey From ‘Combat to College’ on a Maryland Campus. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
What It Is Like to Go to War, by Karl Marlantes. Atlantic Monthly Press, September 2012.