While most college first-year students are recent high school graduates, for some, higher education is made possible by military benefits — leading many veterans to struggle with adjusting to the college experience after serving.
In an effort to help student veterans acclimate to civilian life and successfully complete undergraduate programs, national nonprofit Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) has partnered with Yale University to host a virtual Winter STEM Academic Boot Camp from Dec. 13-18. The intensive physics-based curriculum, offered at no cost to enlisted service members, is designed to help veterans prepare for an academic environment while learning strategies to become better students.
The WSP-Yale Winter STEM Academic Boot Camp is open to veterans who have transitioned out of the military or active duty service members who are within two years of separation and haven’t already participated in a WSP STEM boot camp. Veterans looking to jumpstart their education can learn more about the program and apply here.
Though the program is being held completely online in response to the pandemic, students will have the opportunity to learn from Yale faculty, including the esteemed Marla Geha, professor in the Astronomy and Physics departments, and Jack Harris, professor of Physics and Applied Physics. Additionally, students will receive mentoring from fellow veterans and begin to adjust to a formal learning environment — all key components of the in-person program that were adapted for a virtual setting.
“The STEM program [at Yale] was informative, and I had a lot of fun! I feel more comfortable going into an introductory physics class,” said Ciara Slusarz, a U.S. Navy veteran who participated in the WSP-Yale 2020 summer boot camp. “Having a class with very passionate instructors and students definitely helped me understand and appreciate the material and made me feel like I would be able to do well in this sort of college class.”
The first-ever WSP program was piloted at Yale in 2012, making this the ninth year that the university has partnered with the national nonprofit — bolstering the school’s reach to local veterans. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, over 184,000 veterans reside in Connecticut. Often, service members face extraordinary challenges acclimating to civilian life and Warrior-Scholar Project helps them find camaraderie and guidance during a challenging time in their lives. Support from Yale University and investments made by foundations, corporations, and private donors cover the entire cost of the program for participants. Since the program began, nearly 200 veterans have attended WSP at Yale University.
About Warrior-Scholar Project
Warrior-Scholar Project empowers enlisted veterans and service members to excel at four-year universities. Through intensive and immersive one- to two-week academic boot camps, participants gain skills required for success and support for the cultural shift from the military to higher education at top-tier schools. Throughout WSP’s free resident education programs, students are traditionally housed on campus, and engage in challenging discussions with accomplished professors, receiving tailored instruction on key skills like analytical reading and college-level writing. 2020 academic boot camps follow a virtual version of this program due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Warrior-Scholar Project is a national nonprofit with programs at public and private colleges and universities across the country. For more information, visit www.warrior-scholar.org.
About Yale University
Since its founding in 1701, Yale has been dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge, inspiring innovation, and preserving cultural and scientific information for future generations. Yale’s reach is both local and international. It partners with its hometown of New Haven, Connecticut to strengthen the city’s community and economy. And it engages with people and institutions across the globe in the quest to promote cultural understanding, improve the human condition, delve more deeply into the secrets of the universe, and train the next generation of world leaders.