Step into college
with confidence
as a Marine

Plan for your next step

Are you planning for your military separation and thinking about a college degree? Maybe you’ve scrolled through the MyNavy Education portal or taken a few college classes through Tuition Assistance. Other than setting up a meeting with the MCCS Education Center, you aren’t sure what your next move should be.

Or maybe you have already made the next move, but you still need some veteran education resources. Have you enrolled in college, but you are finding it tougher to manage than you thought? And you’re not sure what the college version of Military OneSource is? (Is it just reddit?)

These are all scenarios that a Marine exploring college might find themselves in. Returning to college after years spent away from the classroom can feel intimidating or isolating. Your DD 214 says you are an NCO, but in the classroom you feel like a terminal lance navigating college.

We can help. We designed our academic boot camps to be a skillbridge between your military service and a successful transition to college.

what is an academic boot camp, anyway?

Just like boot camp prepared you for the military, our academic boot camps are designed to prepare you for college. It’s an intense, one- or two-week college prep program designed specifically for service members or veterans. Academic boot camps are offered both on-site at our partner colleges and online in a virtual format.

For on-site boot camps, enlisted service members and veterans live in dorms, eat in campus dining halls, and study in historic libraries to learn what college life would be like. You’ll learn from campus faculty, tutors, and successful student veteran peers. All programs, meals, and lodging are free, with the exception of travel costs to the campus.

View a list of upcoming Warrior-Scholar Project academic boot camps here

what can I study?

Academic boot camps are offered in three disciplines: humanities, STEM, and business and entrepreneurship.

Our humanities boot camp focuses on building skills in college-level reading, essay writing, and participating in class discussions. In the STEM boot camp, you can practice math and science skills and learn to code in Python. The business and entrepreneurship boot camp gives you an overview of what to expect in a business degree program.

In boot camp sessions, participants will:

  • Break down the differences between military culture and college life
  • Discuss the challenges of life as a student veteran and the emotions that come with it
  • Explore and debate relevant topics in a classroom setting 
  • Learn best practices for studying and time management
  • Work on a weeklong project: writing a college essay (humanities), participating in a group research project (STEM), or working together on a business group project (business and entrepreneurship)

Where are these boot camps?

For virtual academic boot camps, you can log in from the comfort of your own space. 

Our on-site academic boot camps take place on the campuses of our partner schools. Our campus partners range from public and land-grant universities to Ivy League and private liberal arts colleges. All of these schools are committed to the success of student veterans pursuing higher education.

Regardless of school, the academic boot camp experience is transformative across all of our campus partners. The only difference in experience is you will have a chance to learn what makes a specific college or university unique while getting to explore their campus. 

Who is eligible?

  • Enlisted veterans without a bachelor’s degree
  • Enlisted active-duty and reservist service members without a bachelor’s degree
  • Enlisted veterans currently enrolled in associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs

How do I attend?

The first step is to fill out an interest form.

Once you submit the interest form, you’ll receive an email to schedule a call with a member of our outreach team. On that call, the WSP team member will learn about you and your academic interests and help you determine next steps.

Attend a boot camp

One Marine’s Experience

“Prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps, I completed one year of community college, and I took online classes as a Marine,” said U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jackie Chen. “I felt a bit nervous about returning to school after so many years.”

In the summer of 2023, Chen attended our humanities academic boot camp at Williams College. “I had not taken an in-person college class in about two years and was worried about my writing ability and focusing on class,” he said.

Chen didn’t want another “death by PowerPoint” learning experience, and needed something engaging. During the boot camp at Williams College, he was able to improve his writing skills during the weeklong project where participants are tasked with developing a thesis and completing a college essay.

“The professors and fellows were enthusiastic and engaging, making time pass almost too fast. I felt their passion, and that motivated me to work harder,” he said.

But more than that, Chen left the boot camp with increased confidence. “The most important thing I learned was that although I am on a ‘non-traditional’ path to higher education, my experiences and journey make me a strong candidate for top colleges and universities,” he said. “I also learned how to have confidence in both myself and the experiences I have had, and that it is never too late to pursue higher education.”

The 2023 Williams College cohort poses in front of a building on campus.

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