University of California, Irvine: Humanities Academic Boot Camp

The above dates are tentative and subject to change.

Apply now to be part of our free humanities academic boot camp for service members and veterans in partnership with the University of California, Irvine!

This week-long humanities academic boot camp prepares service members and veterans for the challenges and rigor of humanities or liberal arts bachelor’s degree programs. Using the topic of American democracy to guide discussions and assignments, veterans and service members will learn foundational skills to help them succeed with their transition from the military to higher education.

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

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

Before attending WSP this summer, I had only taken a few basic online classes through a local community college in Tacoma, Wash. I was still on active duty at the time, so I spread them out to prevent overwhelming myself. I can honestly say that none of them were as demanding or rewarding as the week I spent at WSP. I’ve never considered myself a particularly studious person and have often struggled with being confident in my ability to be a successful student in higher education. Like I said, the courses I’ve taken were basic and spread out, so it wasn’t particularly difficult. There’s a big difference between a couple of courses here and there and being a full-time student with a full academic workload. That used to petrify me.

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

I have never taken classes in a virtual classroom. The classes I’ve taken were 100% online and never required something like Zoom. I can’t think of a better way to get familiarized with a virtual classroom environment than WSP. It really helped settle some of my nerves and build my confidence in engaging in open discussions.

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

I was super stoked to have an opportunity to experience what a seminar at a major university felt like. I think it was super cool that we were able to see what a finals week would look like. Of course, I was very eager to meet and interact with other veterans who have either already taken a step towards their higher education or, like me, are preparing to start that journey.

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

Oh boy, that list is long! I think the most important information given was the amount of resources that are available for veterans after they transition. There are all sorts of programs and organizations out there ready to help along the way.

What was your favorite session, and why?

I really enjoyed the “Constitutional Framework” session with Professor Brunstetter. There was great open discussion and perspective.

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

Every single one of the instructors and fellows were wonderful and engaged. Joey, Kal and David were super helpful and supportive the entire time.

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

Absolutely! I feel so much better about starting school, and it feels great to have a new support system.