For 15 veterans, an academic boot camp at Penn helped them hone their ability to think critically about a text, give and receive feedback on classmates’ writing, and develop evidence-based arguments.
The week-long training was organized by the Warrior-Scholar Project, a national nonprofit that helps former military personnel consider and prepare for academic life.
“We do want to give them the confidence to walk into a college classroom and feel like, ‘I know what I'm doing,’ or feel like this is familiar. I know how to engage in seminar-style discussions, collaborate with others in the classroom, critically read and write about academic texts,” says Amy Brown, a lecturer in Penn’s Critical Writing Program. “I want them to know how to create knowledge and how to ask questions that push their knowledge forward.”
Alexander Phillips McPherson, who served in the Marine Corps for four years, says that for him the program has achieved its goal so far.
“I came to the Warrior-Scholars Project because I realized in the military all the potential I had and that Ivy League institutions were not out of the picture, which is exactly the opposite of what I thought as a teenager,” McPherson says. “This program has given me the confidence to pursue higher education.”
This is Penn’s second year hosting the Warrior-Scholar Project on campus. Thanks to support provided by Penn and the Project, the week-long program is provided to the veterans free of charge.