It’s boot camp, but it’s a far ring from Parris Island. 20 military veterans spent last week participating in the Warrior Scholar Project at UNC to help them prepare for college life.
The event ran from June 5 to Saturday June 10. The veterans that attended are preparing to transfer or enroll into 4 year undergraduate programs.
The program aims to help vets with skills like analytical reading, critical thinking and writing by immersing them in all areas of the humanities.
Kyle Piunti is UNC’s senior fellow for Warrior Scholar Project.
“One of the things that veterans have in common here is that they didn’t do as well in their previous academic careers as they will after getting out of the military,” said Piunti.
But it’s no walk in the park. The future students are in workshops from 9am to 10 pm and follow a strict schedule.
Zach Johnson is the program director at UNC and a veteran.
“We immerse them in the humanities, we are talking everything from modern day civil rights history, to classic literature,” said Johnson.
The program is conducted at 11 universities, including UNC. It was started in 2012 at Yale.
Johnson said UNC does a lot to support veterans, including the WSP. He said establishing a veteran’s center on campus would be the next big step to help veterans adapt to college life.
“It would promote positive dialogue, it would help foster relationships of people who might not otherwise meet if they were just walking by each other in the pit,” said Johnson.
Piunti and Johnson both said that the military could also do more to inform veterans about programs that can help them transition into academic life.