From Combat to the Classroom: Veterans Transition at APSU - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

From Combat to the Classroom: Veterans Transition At APSU

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.- Going from combat to the classroom is not an easy transition for any veteran. Despite the challenges, thousands of students have done just that at Austin Peay State University.

"The traditional students here are the same age as a lot of my children," veteran and student Michael Cleveland said.

After fifteen years in the military he's is embarking on a new mission. Now a Freshmen at APSU this mission is unlike any other.

"You're helping yourself," he said. "That's the major difference. You're going from a very massive team work effort to a very individual effort."

Faculty and staff at APSU have been participating in a series of classes to learn how to better meet the academic and emotional needs of the more than 1,500 veterans who are students.

"To let them know you're available. What do you need help navigating," presenter and Psychologist Rebecca Townsend explained. "To know we're here to assist you. ..not just not saying anything to them."

"We're making some changes in the way we accommodate students or at least making people aware that accommodation is necessary," History and Philosophy Department Chairman and military veteran Dr. Dewey Browder said.

With help from organizations like the Military Student Center, student veterans help each other navigate the transition.

"Reaching out is usually the first step to say ok, I'm lost let me get back on track," Cleveland added.

However what's the same in combat and on campus is this too will be another mission accomplished.

"I have the mission of graduation."

The goal is for veterans to better connect with the faculty and staff. Overall, statistics show veterans graduate at a higher rate than civilians.

The series also covered military culture and the impact Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Brain Injuries can have on relationships


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