In addition to what all students need, what does Chad (traditional age student, undecided major, all courses online, stationed in Iraq) need?

Phase 1
*Information about demands of online learning. May also need information (i.e. E-mail addresses) concerning who to contact for what
*Identification of courses that are best suited for students who live outside the country
*Information about Skype and virtual classroom (Elluminate)
*Academic advising (help deciding major)
*Career services (when he returns to US)
*Access to policies and counselor via online/email/phone vs coming on campus to meet with an advisor
*Strong financial advisement regarding VA/Tuition Assistance programs
*How to deal with time delays/technical difficulties that may impact timeliness in coursework
*Ability to access necessary services during his waking hours which would be different stateside; essentially 24 services
*Aptitude test to help determine possible major
*Information on technologies that will be available to the student, and whether consistent technologies will be available.
*Whether the student can dedicate the amount of time necessary to complete all of the coursework.
*Academic Calendar to have dates & deadlines clear for instructional days, payment deadlines, withdrawal deadlines etc
*Clearly stated requirements of online students and courses
*Veterans Services connection and knowledge that campus is Vet friendly
*Bookstore mailing process
*Online connect (mentoring) with another student who is also in Iraq or who has returned state-side and is enrolled at the college in some capacity.
*Availability of personal counseling for stress, etc. (I'm not sure if something like this is available or how it might be delivered). This might exist at a college that has a large online/residential veteran community.

Phase 2
*With such a distance from the college, connections through some kind of online community might enhance the sense of being part of a college community

  • Specialized information about any mailing needs that might be complicated by an APO address, such as book orders, official correspondence with the institution, etc. Also, a personal assignment of a student services person could help with the sense of isolation or even the awareness of being in a radically different time zone.

*Notification of faculty to be aware of his situation. It might be difficult to take a midterm while on sortie.
*Arrangements made ahead of time regarding possible absentee dates
*Counseling services when the student returns to help cope with experiences while oversees
*Disability services (if needed)
*Opportunity to join online student communities/groups
*Alternate assignments for group projects or specific tasks that would require US living
*Advisor identification - who he should be dealing with directly
*Evening and weekend support services or technical support
*Information about career services to help figure out major
*Which time zone assignment due dates and times are based on
*How to arrange proctored testing for those online courses that require it

Phase 3

  • Personal support
  • Continued attention of faculty in re his situation.
  • Periodic check-in from student services to address changes in situation.
  • Possibility to join clubs and organizations online to feel connected
  • Evening and weekend support services or technical support
  • Connection to Veterans Services
  • Career service options for when he returns home

Phase 4

  • E-mentoring by instructor; Degree auditing that includes a variety of degree possibilities along with labour market info
  • Assistance in getting completion information back to the service branch, instead of going into a traditional job application in the civilian labor market.

*Career services for when he returns from Iraq
*Mock interviews and resume repair
*4 year schools that work well with students living overseas

How does this contribute to success?

  • Minimizes frustration with technology and, when encountering an issue, prompt access to those who have the answers.
  • Contacting the right person at a college can be like peeling the onion
  • Helps student to feel a part of the college community and lessens sense of isolation
  • Tailors the result of the academic accomplishment back into the organization he's currently serving.

Who is responsible?

  • IT for tech issues and, at our college, Program Heads and Student Services
  • Faculty, student, IT

Best delivery?

  • For orientation perhaps an interactive online community, (a Wiki?), streaming video or downloadable files
  • For the maximum personal touch, video calling whenever the time differential permits. Skype is much loved by military personnel and their families for just this reason.
  • E-mail; real-time streaming video; Skype; asynchronous webcasts
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