Posted on Jul 20, 2021
SGT Joseph Gunderson
3.35K
127
55
23
23
0
D60ad59d
I started college in 2017, and prior to the experience, I had little more to go off of than the usual banal advice. But four years later--a BA, an MA, and halfway through an AAS--I have myriad tidbits I share with those who approach me with questions about starting college.

Don't be afraid to argue with professors.
It is entirely possible you know more about certain things than the faulty. Don't be afraid to demonstrate that.
Mentor the younger students: you can have a real effect on making them better, and you'll grow as a student and leader, too.

The list goes on, but I'd like to see what others have to add to this list.
Avatar_feed
Responses: 25
LTC Eugene Chu
11
11
0
Don’t go to a for-profit school. Several shut down due to fraudulent practices and dubious recruiting. They often cost more and provide less for veteran students

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/why-these-veterans-regret-their-for-profit-college-degrees-and-debt
(11)
Comment
(0)
SGT Joseph Gunderson
SGT Joseph Gunderson
2 mo
I warned a few people about this exact concern. One of them still decided to go to University of Phoenix, even though the degrees are worth less than the paper they're printed on.
(2)
Reply
(0)
SFC Howard Holmes
SFC Howard Holmes
2 mo
Sir, to a certain extent I agree with you, but there are some out there that are pretty good. I obtained my BA at a for profit school, and upon retiring from the Army I went to the University of Illinois for my MA. They did accept all credits from Ashford University, and I will tell you this much. I worked much harder at that for profit school earning my Bachelors than I did at University for my Masters. There are certain comments that are posted and reported on, but the entirety of the situation isn't always displayed. Remember, the NCAA is a very powerful organization that does not want to lose one dollar to a for profit school. Yes, for profit schools recruit very heavily, but they don't have televised football, and basketball games, for which the NCAA schools receive tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions for the TV coverage of these events. I can go on a bigger rant about indirect marketing opportunistic advantages of standard universities that these for profit schools do not have. Each university has dowries that go in to the 10s or 100s of millions of dollars, so yes, they also operate on profit margins. They just use the term "for profit" to make these schools seem like they do nothing but make money. Yes, some of these schools have no scruples in their purpose or interest in educating individuals. The prospective student needs to ensure that the school is properly accredited, and as long as it is, it is GTG. I didn't mean to get on a soap box, it's just that shows like 60 Minutes, the PBS show you referenced, etc., do not tell the entire story, and does not go in to the lop-sided exposure that universities have. Like Loyola, how much exposure did they get because of their performance in the NCAA basketball tournament? That alone was worth thousands and thousands of dollars of marketing and exposure, something these for profit schools stand no chance at. For those who want to go to for profit, approach with great caution and do your research, otherwise, you can fall victim to shenanigans.
(2)
Reply
(0)
Patricia Overmeyer
Patricia Overmeyer
2 mo
SGT Joseph Gundersonl LTC Eugene Chu - The University of Phoenix is a complete rip off, as are most of the for profit schools. Too many people think that because it is "online" and "accredited" that it's a good post-secondary school. You have to do a lot more research on the area of study you wish to pursue to determine if a college is the right fit academically.
(1)
Reply
(0)
SFC Combat Engineer
SFC (Join to see)
2 mo
SFC Howard Holmes - Thank you for the "rest or the story". :)
(1)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
CSM Director
6
6
0
My advice is compare university's veteran support programs. Some are top notch (Syracuse) and some are non-existent.
Just another metric to use when deciding if college and which one is right for you.
(6)
Comment
(0)
SGT Joseph Gunderson
SGT Joseph Gunderson
2 mo
I would add that people should see if the school has an SVA chapter. The community offered by the SVA during my time in grad school was invaluable.
(3)
Reply
(0)
Lt Col Timothy Cassidy-Curtis
Lt Col Timothy Cassidy-Curtis
2 mo
CSM Everroad, did you go to SU? (Go Orange!)
(1)
Reply
(0)
CSM Director
CSM (Join to see)
1 mo
Lt Col Timothy Cassidy-Curtis - I did my PM certification there. I went to Clemson University (Go Tigers)!
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
SGT Dave Tracy
4
4
0
Edited 2 mo ago
"It is entirely possible you know more about certain things than the faulty. Don't be afraid to demonstrate that."

Agreed SGT Joseph Gunderson, but with one big, BIG word of warning from personal experience: Know your audience! Understand whether your professors actually value your experience; and understand whether they can take even the slightest or most benign forms of addition to their knowledge-base or, especially, correction!

I once made the mistake of drawing on several years of fairly unique, personal experience in a particular situation/environment as the basis for correcting a Never-Experienced-It-Myself-But-Know-It-All-Professor in class. I wasn't mad at the guy nor was I unprofessional about explaining why, because of my years of experience in the topic at hand, I believed he was generally incorrect; nonetheless, it didn't work out too well. In fact, the push-back I got was rather disproportionate to my contribution that day.

Wasn't just bad enough I painted a target on my back for this prof, but students, by nature, are sponges for knowledge, and it's human to defer to those are experts or don the trappings of being an expert. And I found many of the students took his authoritative role as a professor as being inherently superior in knowledge, regardless of the fact he was merely parroting whatever he was told was true. Nonetheless, the attitudes from many of them towards me were, shall we say, less than supportive of me or my experience, because they took their cues from the professor who fully discounted my experience in front of the class.

This probably occurred about class 4 or 5, so I really didn't have a sense of what this person's reactions to being challenged were. And it can be argued I wasn't obligated to add my 2 cents, which is fair, but I also didn't set about to be "that guy" who likes to fight with the profs and shove my views down others' throats. I just had something to contribute based on what I lived through.

I'm not telling anyone to self-censor, so if you have something you feel you should contribute, especially if it contradicts prevailing thought, know your audience. Know their tolerances. Figure out HOW to effectively contribute what you have. And accept that you may end up making life harder on yourself if your knowledge and experiences is not valued.

Lastly, you'll note I did not use terms like "feeling" or "opinions"; I am referring to things a bit more substantive than that; namely, what you can offer in terms of empirically demonstrated knowledge and/or experience. Not everyone has experience or knowledge, but everyone has an opinion.
(4)
Comment
(0)
SGT Joseph Gunderson
SGT Joseph Gunderson
2 mo
Yeah, I had sociology professor who would always, without fail, end an argument after a half an hour or longer with the phrase, "I guess we'll have to agree to disagree." After hearing this one too many times I finally called him out as a fool who u destroy full well he had nothing to support his BS and had only his diplomas and position to convince the students. He didn't appreciate it.
(2)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close