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Reaching and Including Veteran Students in the Technical Communication Classroom

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Military and Veterans Division Technical Session 2: Veteran Identity & Inclusion

Tagged Division

Military and Veterans

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Paper Authors


Alyson Grace Eggleston The Citadel

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Alyson G. Eggleston received her B.A. and M.A. in English with a focus on writing pedagogy and linguistics from Youngstown State University and her PhD in Linguistics from Purdue University. She has taught at several U.S. institutions and in rural Nicaragua. Her research and teaching interests are in technical and scientific writing pedagogy and the interaction of language and cognition. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Fine Arts, and Communications at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.

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Robert J. Rabb P.E. The Citadel

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Robert Rabb is an associate professor and the Mechanical Engineering Program Director at The Citadel. He previously taught mechanical engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy and his M.S.E. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching interests are in mechatronics, regenerative power, and multidisciplinary engineering.

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Rates of veteran enrollment in colleges and universities are approaching levels not seen since the fifties, due in part to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, an educational assistance plan for eligible veterans. Connecting veteran students with the support skills they need is crucial to their continuing success, in the classroom and beyond. Studies suggest that veteran students perform to their academic best when given clear objectives and product exemplars, with a focus on best-practice—a result that runs contrary to received wisdom in composition pedagogy research, which tends to give primacy to individualistic, process-focused approaches to student writing. Arguing for the incorporation of longitudinal research regarding veteran writing pedagogical praxis and an informed Technical Writing and Communication (TWC) classroom anchored Project-based Learning (PBL), this paper presents a brief overview of TWC as a discipline, its institution-specific implementation at The [Institution], and current veteran academic success markers. By recommending the implementation of a qualitative survey tool, this paper also seeks to identify the range of veteran TWC experiences that can be leveraged in the classroom, outlining the diversity of veteran experience, training, and confidence regarding TWC-driven tasks. Finally, by eliciting veteran students’ previous TWC training in a military context, the recommended survey apparatus can be used as a meaningful tool for teaching TWC educators how to facilitate opportunities for veteran students to demonstrate in-classroom leadership and contribute experiential insight, for the collective benefit of veteran students and their traditional student counterparts.

Eggleston, A. G., & Rabb, R. J. (2018, June), Reaching and Including Veteran Students in the Technical Communication Classroom Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30916

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