Warrior-Scholar Project Partners with Caltech, UCI, and USC to Help SoCal Enlisted Veterans Prepare for Higher Education

LOS ANGELES — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — For many enlisted veterans, college is a critical next step in acclimating to civilian life and landing a fulfilling career after the military. While this is an exciting new chapter, transitioning from service member to college student is not without challenges. That is why national nonprofit Warrior-Scholar Project  (WSP) has partnered with Caltech; the University of California, Irvine (UCI); and the University of Southern California (USC) to deliver academic boot camps to Southern California student veterans. WSP’s intensive curriculum is designed to help veterans prepare for an academic environment while learning strategies to become better students. 

The academic boot camps will be hosted throughout the summer and each campus focuses on a different core subject to help student veterans get a head start in higher education. 

  • Caltech will host a STEM Academic Boot Camp from June 25 – 30. 
  • USC will host a Writing + Business & Entrepreneurship Academic Boot Camp from July 12 – 18. 
  • UCI will host a Humanities Academic Boot Camp from August 6 – 11. 

Each year, approximately 115,000 veterans separate from the military and decide to pursue higher education. In addition to adjusting to a school environment, many also struggle with adapting to campus culture. WSP helps fill the gap by giving participants the opportunity to learn from university faculty, receive mentoring from fellow student veterans, and begin to adjust to a formal learning environment — all concepts that may seem unfamiliar after years spent away from the classroom. A study found that WSP is the only program of its kind dedicated to veterans that not only provides targeted support for academic success, but also improves social connection and relationships with both faculty and nonveteran students. 

“The course was well organized, staffed, and executed. There was a large amount of material covered, but right alongside were tips and methods for how to keep up and manage large course loads — this was the most valuable aspect for me,” said Terelle Stephens, a U.S. Army veteran and WSP-USC alumnus. “WSP also had a strong focus on the differences between military and academic life and ways to navigate them successfully. No matter what area of transition you are looking for assistance with, WSP will be able to help.” 

The WSP impact is far-reaching: 90% of WSP alumni have completed or are on track to earn a college degree, compared with 72% of all student veterans and 65% of traditional undergraduate students. WSP participants are also diverse; of WSP’s 2022 cohort, 60% identified as first-generation college students, 70% were persons of color, and 28% were women. 

WSP launched its first boot camp at Yale University in 2012 with nine participants. Since then, the program has helped more than 2,000 veterans get a head start in higher education. Support from Caltech, UCI, and USC plus investments made by foundations, corporations, and private donors cover the entire cost of the program for participants. 

About Warrior-Scholar Project

An official partner with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) is a national nonprofit that empowers enlisted veterans and service members to excel at four-year universities. WSP’s flagship program helps veterans gain skills required for college success and support for the cultural shift from the military to higher education via intensive one- to two-week academic boot camps at top-tier schools. During the immersive experience, students are housed on campus and engage in challenging discussions with accomplished professors while receiving tailored instruction on key skills like analytical reading and college-level writing. WSP also offers workshops tailored to address the unique needs of veterans enrolled in community colleges and targeted programming for marginalized veterans, such as its Women Veterans Empowerment Dialogues. Warrior-Scholar Project offers programs at public and private colleges and universities nationwide. For more information, visit www.warrior-scholar.org.

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