Why Choose Saint Leo’s Veteran Studies Program?
In the Fall of 2021, the 39-hour Bachelor of Arts major in Veteran Studies will be offered on-ground at University Campus. This major provides students the opportunity to examine the human experience of military conflict throughout history and in diverse cultures while developing a strong foundation in research and written and verbal skills.
Saint Leo is the first university in the country to offer a four-year degree in Veterans Studies. This major is open to both veteran and non-veteran students.
Saint Leo University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Program Features and Differentiators
Beyond simply being the first university to offer Veteran Studies as an undergraduate program, there are at least four key differentiators that characterize this major:
The Veteran Studies program was developed with a strong interdisciplinary foundation that supports research into this emerging field, innovative classes, internships, and effective inter-departmental partnerships.
The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies was created in 2018 to provide a home where interdisciplinary pedagogy and research methods could be advanced. This is the first new department formed in the College of Arts and Sciences in at least 20 years and illustrates the university’s keen interest in strengthening interdisciplinary programs.
At 39 credit hours, the Veteran Studies B.A. will give students the option of double-majoring or getting a minor, thereby allowing the student to build a university career geared towards their specific interests and goals.
Crafting a unique plan of study necessarily requires the student to develop close working relationships with their advisor, mentors, and professors. In the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, we acknowledge that student success is especially reliant on frequent and focused academic advising. We are, as a consequence, adept at providing students the individualized attention they need to successfully complete their degree programs. Traditional students, first generation students, students with challenging issues, veteran students, students with big dreams… whatever the case, our faculty will be there to mentor and guide the student throughout their career at Saint Leo.
Tammy Duckworth, Senator from Illinois, and combat-disabled Army National Guard veteran, has said, “When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter after I was shot down, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white, or brown. All that mattered was they didn't leave me behind.” The Veteran Studies B.A. echoes and amplifies this message of equality through a curriculum that incorporates at a fundamental level diversity and inclusion.
In the Veteran Studies B.A., students will have opportunities to learn about leadership in their coursework. They will also be a part of an innovative major that is taking a leadership role in breaking new ground. As well, non-veteran students in the major will have the opportunity to learn from their older and more experienced Veteran student peers.
Program Goal 1: Articulate how Veterans have influenced and been influenced by their communities.
Program Goal 2: Critically interpret how Veteran identity is shaped by service and post-service experiences.
Program Goal 3: Successfully analyze how the Veteran perspectives, as described by complex sociocultural and political systems, have changed over time.
Professional Development Opportunities
The careers that Veteran Studies students choose after graduation are as varied as this diverse population. Traditional students who wish to enter military service as officers after graduation will find this degree program prepares them to navigate the unique waters of military life through coursework in ethics, law, American history and politics and through rich classroom and special event discussions centering on veteran culture.
Those students who wish to earn an advanced graduate degree in most fields in the Arts and Sciences, and most fields in Social Services and Business, will graduate from the Veteran Studies program with superior research and writing skills and the ability to assess, from an interdisciplinary perspective, complex problems.
It is important to note, this is a Veteran Studies degree program which studies the distinctive character that is formed as a result of military service and retirement from service, not a Veteran Services program which would provide academic and hands-on training in, for instance, physical therapy or social work.
The skills mastered in this program prepare students for careers in the non-profit, business, and government sectors as well as in community organizations and senior services. For students who wish to pursue graduate study, this degree also provides an excellent foundation in public policy, history, literature, psychology, sociology, theology, criminal justice, business administration, education, and law.