Implementing the Kognito Program

Moving towards a more veteran-friendly campus

Over the summer of 2015, Nathan Derge, and Brandi Hernandez, met with the Deans of the 14 Schools & Colleges around campus to discuss the “Kognito: Veterans on Campus for Faculty and Staff” program.  Kognito is a self-paced online interactive training course that provides faculty and staff with opportunities to learn about the needs and experiences of student veterans. When faculty and staff members take this they will learn the following:

  • The distinctive value that veterans bring to our campus
  • Common barriers they experience when attending college
  • Helpful approaches for guiding classroom discussions that include difficult subjects for student veterans
  • Best practices for helping student veterans in distress connect with important resources and support

Our Student Veterans Advocacy Senator gives the students perspective below:

“The Kognito program provides a training that many people overlook.  Being a student-veteran myself, I’ve seen many student-veterans separate themselves from their military roots because of multiple reasons but the main reason is they fear the label of having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and being viewed as weak or vulnerable in the classroom.  Having this thought linger in your mind results in less veterans self identifying in the classroom and sharing their rich, vibrant, real-world experience with their fellow peers.  The Kognito training introduces faculty and staff into a new role as a mentor and guide to assist veterans who struggle with the many aspects of student life.  From a simple comment made by a fellow student, to struggling with the transition back into civilian life, the Kognito training opens new doors for staff as we enter a new era of returning veterans from war.  With an end goal of creating a solid foundation between faculty and student-veterans, the Kognito program is worth the effort because all of our returning veterans deserve a positive educational experience” ~Nathan Derge

With over 1,200 military and veteran students on our campus we see it fit that all faculty, staff and teaching assistants take part in this program to create a more inclusive community for our veteran students. To further this, we will be publishing departmental completion rates on this page to share the progress that schools and colleges have been made. We will be presenting the Kognito program at the College of Letters & Science Faculty meeting to get a stronger push within our largest college on September 18th. We also be presenting in front of the Academic Leadership Committee, a collective meeting of school and college deans, the following month.