In an effort to help student military veterans acclimate to civilian life and successfully complete undergraduate programs, the national nonprofit Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) has partnered with Caltech to host a STEM Academic Boot Camp through Aug. 13.
The intensive 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.
During the WSP-Caltech Academic Boot Camp, participants will have the opportunity to learn from Caltech faculty, receive mentoring from fellow student veterans, and begin to adjust to a formal learning environment.
“Caltech is proud to host the Warrior-Scholar Project for the second year in a row. We are eager to introduce enlisted service members and veterans to one of our nation’s best science and technology institutions and hope each individual’s time here is a personally and professionally rewarding experience,” said Kenneth Hargreaves, assistant vice president of strategy implementation and external relations officer at Caltech.
WSP 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.
For 2021, WSP is working with partners on six campuses to offer on-site programming and all other boot camps will be held online utilizing the successful virtual model developed in 2020 in response to the pandemic. Warrior-Scholar Project has programs at public and private colleges and universities across the country. For more information, visit www.warrior-scholar.org.
The WSP-Caltech partnership bolsters the school’s reach to veterans. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 1.7 million veterans reside in California. 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 Caltech and investments made by foundations, corporations, and private donors cover the entire cost of the program for participants.
“The willingness of Caltech professors to instruct us over Zoom reinforced in me that my education is important, so much so that JPL scientists are taking time out of their day to be available to teach us. I have never felt so ready to go to college as I do now, after having completed WSP,” said William Doran, an Air Force veteran who participated in the WSP-Caltech 2020 summer boot camp.
WSP launched its first boot camp at Yale University in 2012 with nine participants. Since then, the program has expanded to 21 of America’s top schools and has helped more than 1,400 veterans get a head start in higher education.