Grateful for Virginia Tech, but longing to belong

I recognize that I am lucky. After returning home and to Virginia Tech, a few of my buddies received calls from the University of Phoenix and other for-profit colleges. According to data from, degree completion for veterans is only 28% for students at for-profits compared to 56% for public institutions. I feel terrible that they don’t have the support I have. Here, we have a center and resources for dealing with all of the post-9/11 GI issues in order to pay tuition and support my family.

I don’t understand how ungrateful all of these students are for this gift of education.  I’m in this amazing class and everyone is texting and facebooking. Sure, the environment could be more inclusive, but it works for now.

To be honest, I am struggling in my classes. I cannot connect to students who sit next to me in class, or eat near me at lunch. I’m alone and confused about what might happen next…

~ by shanemccarty on March 5, 2014.

One Response to “Grateful for Virginia Tech, but longing to belong”

  1. I would encourage you to look at some of the positive things that institutions like University of Phoenix do for veterans and why they might actually be a good fit in some cases. I used to work for Phoenix, and they actually had a very extensive veterans assistance program. We had enrollment and academic advisors specifically for returning veterans who were former military. Phoenix also is one of the only institutions which actively works with the U.S. military to incorporate training received in the military with college credits. It was a great way for students to get college credits for high level skills they picked up in U.S. military training courses.

    UoP is not perfect and I agree that it has some questionable practices. I’m not really even a big proponent of for-profit higher ed. However, I’m not so sure that every institution in the country doesn’t do something that wouldn’t sit well with me. I also think that UoP does get somethings right and we could learn a lot by incorporating some of their innovations into our current practices for returning veterans.

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