For Faculty and Staff

The Iowa State University Veterans Center is here to help you better understand and relate to student Veterans, military personnel and their families. Unlike traditional university students, student Veterans are typically older and face challenges similar to those of adult and non-traditional students, but with the added dimension that comes with being a Veteran. They may have different stressors than their younger peers. Veterans face challenges such as adjusting to life as a student after several years away, taking on a full college course load while fulfilling the adult obligations of providing for a family, and coping with the mental stresses and physical wounds of combat service. However, they also bring with them unique and rich experiences that contribute to the classroom.

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    Who is a Veteran?

    In many cases, students identified as Veterans at Iowa State University are those receiving Veterans educational benefits at the state or federal level, but we do not limit the use of the term or our services only to those Veterans.

    Generally speaking, a Veteran is someone who has served in one of the five branches of the US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard). The term Veteran is often applied to an individual who has honorably completed a specific term of service and has been discharged from his or her service obligation; however, the term also applies to those individuals currently serving on Active Duty, as well as those fulfilling their obligation in the Reserves or National Guard.

    Veterans bring a variety of skills and experiences to the University. Basic military and technical training received through the Armed Forces instills service members with a strong sense of discipline and teamwork. Student Veterans are a resource for enhancing classroom dialogue and bringing firsthand perspectives to course content.

    Who to Contact with Questions about a Student Veteran?

    If you have any questions or concerns about student Veterans that you are working with, please contact our staff.

    What are the University Policies Regarding Missing Class for Military Service?

    Many student Veterans at Iowa State are still fulfilling service obligations on Active Duty or in the National Guard or Reserve. University policy provides accommodation for these students in the event they are mobilized or receive orders that incidentally conflict with their course schedules. Faculty and staff members who work with student Veterans are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the relevant policies and regulations.

    University Attendance Policy for Military Service Military Service

    "Instructors shall excuse absences due to Veteran or military service obligations (including service-related medical appointments, military orders dictating appointments, and National Guard Service obligations). When a student’s military or veteran obligations are for more than two weeks, the student should meet with their advisor to discuss the situation and academic options and work with their instructors to discuss potential accommodations. University procedures are in place for such situations and should be followed. In all instances, students have a responsibility to communicate with their instructors to ensure they are continuing to meet course expectations and requirements. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to utilize the ISU Veterans Center and review information at"

    Amended and approved by the Faculty Senate on 4/17/18; the Senior Vice President and Provost on 4/19/2018; and the ISU President on 4/22/2018.

    *For additional information regarding the University Attendance Policy, please see the Faculty Handbook

    Other Sources of Information:

    Leaving for Active Duty

    ISU Course Catelog

    Beyond policy, having empathy, understanding, and a willingness to work with student Veterans, military personnel, and their families works best. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Director of the Veterans Center, Jathan Chicoine, at 515-294-9801, or at

    Where to find Articles and Resources Regarding Veterans in Higher Education?

    Sources of information and research related to Veterans issues are available through the following Veteran, government and nonprofit organization websites.

    What Best Practices Exist for Working with Veterans in the Classroom?

    The unique circumstances and non-traditional backgrounds student Veterans bring to the University sometimes create challenges and potential sources of conflict or discomfort for both the Veteran and the University employee. Our office is constantly on the lookout for resources and guidelines to help faculty and staff effectively engage student Veterans and understand their needs, expectations, and points-of-view.

    One such resource is a document that the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs developed to provide insights and guidelines for working with student Veterans in the classroom: Veteran Guidelines and Best Practices in the Classroom (downloadable PDF, used with author’s permission).