Cleveland State University

The Writing Center

Peace for the Veteran in Your Classroom

The Writing Center
As more and more veterans come to CSU and take the two-year program designed especially for them, they will be entering into your WAC courses. This handout offers some guidelines for teaching them.

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the Classroom

Not every veteran suffers from PTSD, but those who do have varying levels of insomnia and re-experience war events. A fuller list of symptoms can be found at the National Center for PTSD: Here is how those symptoms can be seen in veterans in the classroom:
  • trouble concentrating
  • sitting near the exit (hyperarousal)
  • feeling anxious (also hyperarousal in the need to protect civilians)

Strengths and Weaknesses in Writing

Many of the veterans on campus are fresh from Iraq and Afghanistan; therefore they may have been out of school for a number of years and are used to following orders, not questioning theories that most courses require. Many veterans will have the following strengths:
  • clear focus
  • strong organization.
Their weaknesses, however, will be that they often lack the following items:
  • adequate development (short papers, not enough support)
  • formal style
  • correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Veterans prefer completing one assignment before beginning another, and they also prefer very specific feedback about what to revise.

Interactions with Professors and Students

Many veterans drop out of college because they feel older, sometimes alienated, as if they do not belong. Including veterans in class discussions can be a way to overcome these barriers to learning.

The SERV Office as a Resource for You and Veterans

John Schupp, the Director of the Supportive Education for Returning Veterans (SERV) Program ((875-9996, would be happy to address any concerns you have about veterans in your class.
engaged learning
Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Provost Office
2121 Euclid Avenue

RT Library 124
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Rhodes Tower 124
1860 E. 22 Street
Office Hours
Mon - Thurs : 9:30 am-7:00 pm
Fri : 9:30 am-4:00 pm

For appointments call:
Dr. Mary McDonald
Fax: 216.687.6943
Dr. Mary McDonald , Director

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