Supporting the Military-Affiliated Learner: Communication Approaches to Military Pedagogy & Education challenges the academic community to 1) reevaluate how they support military-affiliated learners (MALs) and address how the military-civilian-academic divide causes disparities and barriers to MAL academic achievement and retention and 2) implement programs and develop strategies to facilitate equitable academic integration from application to graduation.
With contributions from veterans, military spouses, and communication educators, the chapters explicate barriers that MALs face when trying to transition to, navigate, and succeed in higher education. This edited volume explores the impact of the diversity and nuances of MAL identities on their experiences in higher education; promotes military competence by providing opportunities for educators and support staff to learn about potential barriers and promote best practices for connecting with MALs and validating their lived experiences; examines how technology/computer-mediated communication may be used to facilitate community building and promote connectedness for MALs within face-to-face and digital spheres. This book is intended to be a resource guide for administrators, policymakers, and educators by providing tangible strategies, recommendations, and resources to promote the academic success of MALs navigating higher education.
Victoria McDermott is an instructor at the University of Maryland.
Leandra H. Hernández is assistant professor in the department of communication at Utah Valley University.
Amy May is assistant professor in the department of human communication studies at Shippensburg University.
Introduction: The Current Status of MALs in Higher Education, Victoria McDermott, Leandra Hinojosa Hernández, and Amy May
Part I: Exploring MAL Identities
Chapter 1: Setting the Stage: MALs in Higher Education, Victoria McDermott, Margaret Stewart, Carol Walker, Amy May, and Leandra Hernández
Chapter 2: Understanding Dual Identity Formation: Identifying Commonalities and Resolving “Differentness” For Military Affiliated Learners, Amy May and Victoria McDermott
Chapter 3: What is Impacting the Military-Affiliated Learner Experience in Higher Education, Nancy A. Chiara, Michael Chiara, and Mary Z. Ashlock
Chapter 4: Supporting Military Veterans in the Graduate Classroom: A Case Study of Political Beliefs And Discussion, William T. Howe Jr.
Chapter 5: Challenges for Military Partners Pursuing College and Resilience-Based Strategies to Support their Academic Success, Kelly R. Rossetto and Jennifer S. Owlett
Part II: Educators and Support Staff Experiences with MALs
Chapter 6: Speaking Chicana/o Secrets to Military Students: An Autoethnography of Teaching Senior Military Noncommissioned Officers, Frank G. Pérez
Chapter 7: Nepantla, Liminality, and Teaching and Learning in the Space Between: A Borderlands Approach to Military-Affiliated Learner Pedagogy, Leandra Hinojosa Hernández, Sarah De Los Santos Upton, and Arthur A. Aguirre
Chapter 8: Supporting the Military-Affiliated Learner’s Medical School Aspirations, Zea Moullet and Jennifer N. Belding
Chapter 9: Nuclear War!: Theorizing the Negative Impacts of Policy Debate’s Tropogical Mistreatment of War for Military-Affiliated Learners, Nick J. Sciullo
Chapter 10: The Hard Sell: Supporting MALs through Resource Centers, Meghan Velez, Victoria McDermott, and Kenneth W. Marlin
Part III: Building Inclusive Learning Communities Virtually and Beyond
Chapter 11: Best Practices in Supporting Military-Affiliated Learners: Suggestions from Communication and Psychological Sciences, Leandra Hinojosa Hernández and Jennifer N. Belding
Chapter 12: Two-Way Communication as a Constructivist Pedagogy Tool for Enhancing Meaning Making in Digital Learning Classrooms with Military Affiliated Learners, April Cobos
Chapter 13: “So We Hit It With a Hammer, and It Worked”: How Active-Duty Marines Communicate, Collaborate, and Forge their Own Learning Communities in Social Media, Bree McGregor
Chapter 14: Collaborative Apprenticeship Approaches to Writing Instruction in the Military, Ashley Ludewig
Chapter 15: Adapt and Overcome: Military-Affiliated Learners and Transfer of Learning, Catherine St. Pierre
Chapter 16: From Application to Graduation: Collective Recommendations for Serving those Who Serve, Amy May, Victoria McDermott, And Leandra Hinojosa Hernández
"Supporting the Military-Affiliated Learner: Communication Approaches to Military Pedagogy and Education is a must-have for anyone conducting research with and/or directly serving this important yet understudied population. The editors bring together under one cover scholars from within and beyond communication, as well as those with military service backgrounds. With sections dedicated to military-affiliated learner (MAL) identities, the experiences of MAL educators and support staff, and the construction of inclusive learning communities for MALs, their collection stands to make an immediate and lasting impact on the lives of MALs."
"We owe it to our service members, military contractors, and their families to make sure they receive the same quality of education as more traditional students. Dr. Leandra H. Hernández’ book offers in-depth explanations of how service members feel when they walk into the classroom, and what instructors can do to help these individuals achieve their maximum learning potential. The topic she has chosen to address is an important one, since military learners have incredible potential to achieve their academic goals, when the bridge to understanding of their complex circumstances has been created. Case studies she has selected make the image of the military learner come alive."
"Supporting the Military-Affiliated Learner is a ground-breaking volume that treats the reader to an eclectic collection of literati with personal, service, and/or scholarly connections to the armed forces. Their noble chapters converge at the intersection of military experiences and learning and spotlight a new group of students—a silent troop on the commons—that collectively are now known affectionately forever as MALs (military-affiliated learners). Higher educators, administrators, and staffers will revel in, leverage, and nourish themselves with the work here to become all that they and their MALs can be."
“In Supporting the Military-Affiliated Learner, McDermott, Hernández, and May have created a
timely and valuable scholarly collection. Based on survey, interview, and autoethographic data
as well as the contributors’ extensive experience teaching/mentoring military-affiliated learners
(MALs), these chapters celebrate the diversity of MALs, challenge readers to reflect on their
own stereotypes, and offer strengths-based pedagogical practices and policy recommendations
for supporting MALs. As a resource for bridging military-civilian divides, this volume is a must
read for university instructors, administrators, support staff, and anyone else who interacts with
MALs in the higher education context.”