- The open door policies of these schools led to the creation of the “Orange Door” program, a Syracuse University campus-wide initiative to create veteran-friendly spaces that enable faculty and staff to receive military and veteran competency training.
- The effective communication of what “veteran-friendly” means is important. In most cases it does not mean giving veterans special exception in terms of requirements of the program. Rather, it means fostering an institution-wide culture that embraces the veteran community and believes that veterans are fully capable of successfully earning a degree, while adding value to the institution as a whole.
- Some programs found it difficult to both accommodate and sustain engagement with remote veteran students – The Maxwell School is developing a hybrid residential program for remote students and adding online course offerings in 2017.
Paper III of this Leading Practices series explores the process of becoming more veteran-friendly through the lens of Syracuse University. The study assessed five schools on the Syracuse University campus, including Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Information Studies, and David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.
The IVMF research team conducted interviews with representatives from each school and looked at programs offered, current policies and practices, challenges, successes, and next steps to developing and implementing veteran-friendly programs for graduate degrees.
Some of the best practices included financial incentives, efforts to encourage inclusion, the use of online and hybrid courses, along with developing relevant course content, an open door policy and collaboration between departments and schools.