June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1550.1 - 22.1550.11
Transitioning America’s Veterans into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academic ProgramsThe new GI Bill presents opportunities to bring motivated, mature, dedicated, and disciplinedstudents into academia, especially into STEM fields closely related to their military jobexperience. However, many of these students may have been away from the classroom forseveral years and may not be as prepared to enter college as they might have been prior toentering the military. These veterans have a very high potential for success as students in STEMfields of study, but may need some special assistance and mentoring in refreshing their academicskills.Through two grants from the National Science Foundation, EEC-0951441 and EEC-1037619,the authors are implementing strategies designed to ease and facilitate the transition of theseveterans into STEM curricula at two- and four-year institutions. Demographic data is beingcollected to better understand where these students would be transitioning out of military serviceand where they are likely to enroll in higher education. A consortium of geographicallydistributed industrial and academic partners was developed to forge the necessary articulationagreements with participating partners, conduct a needs assessment, develop transition curricula,and implement pilot projects from which we can gain lessons learned in this overall effort.An initial needs assessment was conducted with a pilot group of veterans to determine whatcoursework might be needed most, what military training and education could be articulated tocollege credit, and what additional special needs this non-traditional group of students had. Somespecial review courses were developed in key subject areas to assist in the students’ preparationfor entry into mainstream classes. These classes will likely prove to be important to the long-term success of these students. Veterans generally do not need the in-depth instruction typicallygiven in remedial courses and the time limit on their GI Bill benefits dictate that the studentscomplete degree requirements in as short a period of time as possible. In addition, our planningtakes into consideration involvement of these students in co-op and internship programs as ameans of assisting them with financial concerns and re-entry into the workforce.The second grant will focus on implementation of a pilot program based on the lessons learnedfrom the first grant. The results presented here will be of benefit to any post-secondary institutioninterested in integrating military veterans into existing STEM curricula.
Rajala, S. A., & Green, R. A., & Vaughn, R. B. (2011, June), Transitioning America’s Veterans into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academic Programs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18992
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