Updated: Oct 26, 2020
New Haven, Connecticut – For the 9th year, Yale University, the flagship institution of the esteemed Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP), will partner with the national nonprofit to offer a free academic boot camp for veterans. WSP hosts immersive academic boot camps at no cost to enlisted veterans in partnership with some of America’s top colleges and universities.
Through its unique programming, WSP guides veterans through their transition from the military and helps them develop the skills necessary to successfully complete four-year undergraduate programs. Support from Yale and investments made by foundations, corporations, and private donors cover the entire cost of the program for participants.
WSP is set to host a two-week academic boot camp in partnership with Yale for 15 student veterans May 24 – June 6, focusing on humanities and STEM curricula. This year the boot camp will take place virtually, allowing students to learn from Yale faculty and teaching assistants, receive mentoring from fellow student veterans, and adjust to an online learning environment, all from the safety of their home.
“We are thrilled to once again partner with Yale to run a world-class academic boot camp,” said Ryan Pavel, the CEO of Warrior-Scholar Project. “This partnership helps propel WSP alumni to success at top institutions throughout the country, as 90% of our alumni have already completed or are on track to complete their undergraduate degrees, an increase of 18% over the national veteran average. That success is made possible by the outstanding faculty members, students, and administrators that dedicate their time to executing this life-changing programming.”
The two-week academic boot camp in partnership with Yale will spend a week focusing on a humanities-based curriculum before switching to a physics-based STEM curriculum for the second week. The humanities week will focus on developing skills in analytical reading and academic writing while providing tools for success with college-level seminars and assignments.
During the STEM week, students will be conducting hands-on research projects in addition to class sessions. The research projects will explore topics like cryptography and the search for exoplanets, using Python programming language, which the participants will learn as part of the program. Participants with the cryptography research project will learn to encrypt, decrypt, and perform cryptanalysis with Python and also use elementary number theory and abstract algebra. Participants with the exoplanet research will use Python to analyze real work and observations from NASA’s Kepler space observatory to reproduce scientific results.
Over the past eight years, over 180 veterans have attended WSP at Yale.
“WSP was an all-around great experience for me. The fellows, Yale faculty, and students involved made me excited to get back into education,” said Griffin Utz, a U.S. Army veteran who participated in the 2019 WSP Yale academic boot camp and is now a student at Columbia University. “The opportunity to work and interact with these impressive faculty members was invaluable both as an inspiration and networking opportunity. I found the emphasis on collaborative learning, networking, and study habits to be extremely productive for an older student looking to earn their degree while pursuing a professional goal.”
WSP launched its first program at Yale University in 2012 with nine participants. Since then, WSP has expanded to encompass 20 of America’s top schools and will serve 215 veterans at virtual academic boot camps in 2020. In addition to Yale University, WSP graduates have gone on to enroll at prestigious institutions including Cornell, Harvard, Georgetown, Dartmouth, Columbia, Princeton, and Stanford.
Each WSP boot camp is run by WSP staff with a team of WSP alumni student veterans and is taught by university professors and graduate students. An intensive syllabus guides participants as they learn how to frame their ideas in an academic context, think critically, and formulate scholarly arguments. WSP believes with the right educational support and access to top-tier universities, veterans can become the next generation of civic and business leaders.