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Veteran’s Transition Course at the University of Wyoming

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Military and Veterans Constituent Committee Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Military and Veterans

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Paper Authors


Steven F. Barrett University of Wyoming

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Dr. Steven F. Barrett, P.E., received the B.S. in Electronic Engineering Technology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1979, the M.E.E.E. from the University of Idaho at Moscow in 1986, and the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. He was formally an active duty faculty member and professor at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado and is now professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and associate dean for Academic Programs, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Wyoming. He is a senior member of IEEE and chief faculty advisor of Tau Beta Pi. His research interests include digital and analog image processing, computer-assisted laser surgery, and embedded control systems. He is a registered professional engineer in Wyoming and Colorado. He authored/co-authored several textbooks on microcontrollers and embedded systems. His book, “A Little Book on Teaching,” was published by Morgan and Claypool Publishers in 2012. In 2004, Barrett was named “Wyoming Professor of the Year” by the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching and in 2008 was the recipient of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Professional Engineers in Higher Education, Engineering Education Excellence Award.

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Cameron H. G. Wright P.E. University of Wyoming Orcid 16x16

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Cameron H. G. Wright, Ph.D., P.E., is a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY. He was previously Professor and Deputy Department Head in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the United States Air Force Academy, and served as an R&D engineering officer in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years. He received the B.S.E.E. (summa cum laude) from Louisiana Tech University in 1983, the M.S.E.E. from Purdue University in 1988, and the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. Cam's research interests include signal and image processing, real-time embedded computer systems, biomedical instrumentation, and engineering education. He is a member of ASEE, IEEE, SPIE, BMES, NSPE, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. His teaching awards include the University of Wyoming Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award (2012), the Tau Beta Pi WY-A Undergraduate Teaching Award (2011), the IEEE UW Student Branch's Outstanding Professor of the Year (2005 and 2008), the UW Mortar Board "Top Prof" award (2005, 2007, and 2015), the Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE Rocky Mountain Section (2007), the John A. Curtis Lecture Award from the Computers in Education Division of ASEE (1998, 2005, and 2010), and the Brigadier General Roland E. Thomas Award for outstanding contribution to cadet education (both 1992 and 1993) at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is an active ABET evaluator and an NCEES PE exam committee member.

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Marty Martinez

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Veteran’s Transition Course at the University of Wyoming

In late January 2011, two faculty members at the University of Wyoming (UW) with over 50 years of combined military service were contacted about establishing a transition course for returning veterans by the UW Veterans Transition Task Force. As veterans themselves, they were honored to be asked to serve fellow veterans in this capacity.

To construct this course, they elicited the assistance of experts in veterans’ affairs and challenges including: • Army Reserve Officer Training Commander (Army ROTC) and staff • Air Force Reserve Officer Training Commander (USAF ROTC) and staff • Veterans Affairs, Local Recovery Coordinator • Veterans Affairs representative, Associate Dean of Students • Various information sources including “Combat2College” (

The goals of this course are to provide returning veterans: • A smooth transition to college life (time management skills, financial management, wellness skills) • Basic tools for academic success (basic writing skills, library skills, oral presentation skills, and advising) • Information on resources available to returning veterans (VA benefits, academic services, career services) • A sense of community, camaraderie and belonging (interaction with fellow veterans, community service opportunities) • Information on veteran related challenges (post-traumatic stress disorder awareness, AWARE (Alcohol Wellness Alternatives, Research, & Education), Gateway suicide prevention training, and stress reduction techniques) • Originally, the course counted for University (General) Studies credit for the Intellectual Community (I) and the Information Literacy (L) component and Communication.

The course began as a “small footprint” course of one semester hour. That is, a course framework was developed such that any interested colleague could teach this course. Attempts were made to use already existing resources wherever possible. In mid-2015, to accommodate the major revision of the University Studies Program (i.e., general studies) at the University of Wyoming, the course was expanded to three semester hours, with additional material for written, oral, and digital communication. This added communication material was presented in such a way as to provide an effective bridge between the communication style common in a military environment, and the communication style expected in a university environment. This made the course more approachable for veterans than a more traditional course covering those topics. This revised version of the course was first taught in the Spring semester of 2016. The revised course counts as a Communication 2 (COM2) for USP; a typical COM2 course would be a second non-majors English course.

This course has been taught annually since 2011. In this paper we share course development, content, evolution over time, successes, and area for further improvement. Also, we discuss in detail additional veteran services provided by the campus Veteran Service Center that dovetail into the course. We expect to provide student feedback from previous students as a form of assessment.

Barrett, S. F., & Wright, C. H. G., & Martinez, M. (2017, June), Veteran’s Transition Course at the University of Wyoming Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29105

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