(2 openings left) Cornell University: Humanities and STEM Academic Boot Camps

The above dates are tentative and subject to change.

The first week of the program is our humanities academic boot camp, which includes daily seminars taught by campus professors who are leaders in their field, readings and analysis of challenging texts on the tradition of American democracy, and morning discussions on each reading in preparation for seminars, writing workshops, and assignments.

The second week prepares service members and veterans for the challenges and rigor of a STEM bachelor’s degree program. Using a physics-based curriculum, veterans and service members will gain skills to help them succeed with their transition from the military to higher education.

During this two-week boot camp, students are taught by professors from our partner college and mentored by peers who have completed the program and successfully transitioned to college.

Cornell University Cohort

What was your educational experience prior to WSP? Would you consider yourself a confident student?

I was an average student in high school, and I was smart enough to skate by on good grades without needing to study. In doing so, I didn’t realize any academic passions. I tried college for two years and primarily learned quite painfully how poor a student I was, so I decided to “take a break” from school and enlist in the Navy. After boot camp, I was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA where I earned an Associate’s Degree in Spanish. From all this, I learned I had the capacity to be a good student, and I needed to define for myself what my academic direction would be.

Had you participated in any sort of virtual learning before? If so, how does your WSP experience compare to that?

This is my first virtual learning program.

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

Very much so! I hope to attend Cornell after getting out of the Navy. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to learn from the very same professors that might be teaching me if I’m accepted to Cornell.

What have you learned so far that you think will be helpful as you pursue your degree?

I have never before annotated a book while reading it. Going back and reflecting on my thought processes to particular passages really helps the material stick.

What was your favorite session, and why?

I really enjoyed the Declaration in Context and Constitutional Framework seminars. I’ve never offered so much critical thought about our founding documents. It was enlightening to think about both in a new light.

Are there any instructors or fellows who have made a difference for you at WSP?

All the instructors and fellows were awesome! Dr. Dani and Dr. Bujalski were a great dynamic-duo in teaching us good academic writing.

Is WSP having any effect on how confident you feel as a student?

Absolutely! I’m constantly drawing parallels to the skills I’ve learned in the Navy and how I’ve been able to apply them in our virtual classroom. 

California Institute of Technology Cohort and Cornell University Cohort

What was your educational experience prior to WSP? Would you consider yourself a confident student?

Before joining WSP, I attended various community schools to attain my associate’s degree. I did not consider myself a confident student while attending post-service schooling. But my mindset changed while attending WSP, and I gained skills for my future education. 

Had you participated in any sort of virtual learning before? If so, how does your WSP experience compare to that?

I had previously participated in virtual learning, but nothing compares to the WSP experience. WSP’s virtual learning experience has taught me that there is a possibility for true discussions, collaborations, and communication while in a virtual learning environment. This was completely different from what I’ve experienced before. 

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

I was excited to participate in WSP this summer due to my hopes for the program. I hoped to see this program be in a learning environment with like-minded individuals with a commonality of background: the military culture, life, and views. 

What have you learned so far that you think will be helpful as you pursue your degree?

I learned various essential skills while participating in WSP. Those skills include social and educational communication, study skills, and dissecting information. These are crucial skills that are needed for future education opportunities that will ensure success in school. Other skills that I learned during WSP are reviewing techniques and making important notes to comprehend materials for the course (mainly readings). 

What was your favorite session, and why?

I can confidently say that my favorite part was the writing workshops. They allowed me to challenge myself and attain feedback regarding my writings. I have received valuable input that will be crucial for my transition to college. 

Are there any instructors or fellows who have made a difference for you at WSP?

All the instructors and fellows have made a difference in their own way. With Jazzmen, I built a connection with our similarities in life that made me feel comfortable to speak at ease. Harry’s comedic input and direct communication method helped me retain information and make notes for future use. Manny’s earnest and humble communication methods and directions also made me feel comfortable asking questions and keeping an open mind. When Ethan spoke, it made me pay attention to his words. His method of communicating made me feel at ease to ask questions. Whether I was right or not, he made me feel comfortable still providing answers and comments without feeling lost.

Is WSP having any effect on how confident you feel as a student?

WSP had had a positive effect on my confidence as a student. I feel that I am more prepared for future avenues that my academic goals may take me. I no longer feel mentally or academically unprepared for the next steps. This experience was worthwhile!

After years of watching movies and television shows that portrayed fiendish college professors and demonic teachers, Air Force veteran Carla Ulloa was pleasantly surprised by her Cornell educators.

“I had thought that professors are just looking to make sure you regret joining their class,” Ulloa said. “Now, I feel more comfortable in a college classroom. I don’t have to hold back on my thoughts.”

Ulloa was one of 16 military veterans who participated in the virtual academic boot camp at Cornell July 26 to Aug. 6. The university partnered with the Warrior-Scholar Project for the seventh consecutive year to help recent or soon-to-be military veterans transition into higher education. (continued)

Read the full article here.