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Deployment on Campus: Help for Perplexed Veterans

 

Veterans throughout the U. S. are getting ready to use the Post-911 GI Bill or Vocational Rehabilitation to pursue college or technical school training. While they apply for benefits, most reflect that it has been quite some time since they were in school. Filing for benefits is one challenge, but by far the biggest ordeal —hitting the books—lies ahead.

Veteran Darrell Chambers sums up his feelings this way: “You may have known the skills, but time caused you to forget. You need somewhere you can go to get help.”

Such a place exists at Austin Peay State University. Veterans Upward Bound, a program funded by the Department of Education, has been preparing veterans for the rigors of academic coursework since its inception in 1989. Now located in the McReynolds Building at APSU, the program helps veterans refresh their skills at their own pace.

In this individualized instruction environment, an instructor is present in the classroom to explain the textbook, give examples, work problems and score quizzes. According to participant Myra Telsede, “VUB has a staff that truly loves teaching and is always there to help.”

“Veterans Upward Bound has helped me get over the fear of learning,” says Stilton Kidd. “I always had this notion that I was too old to go back to school.”

David J. Johnson says, “The VUB program has given me back the initiative to see that I am still able to learn and achieve. At this point in my life, I feel the need to advance, and this program is an essential building block.”

“VUB gets veterans used to the school environment,” Danny Fuson adds. “Some vets have been away from studies for many years.”

“VUB gives me the understanding of English punctuation and math problems that I didn’t learn in high school,” says participant Patricia Davis.

Veteran Mark Remini agrees: “VUB provided me with the necessary skills that I forgot or was never taught. Let’s face it, there is a big difference in high school math classes now compared to 25 years ago.” Remini, now enrolled at APSU, looks back at his experience at VUB with positive memories. “The program is exactly what veterans who have remained absent from higher learning environments need. The staff does an excellent job teaching and assisting. In most cases they make learning fun.”

A few unforeseen advantages spill over into VUB participants’ lives as they review the basics. Dedrick Money remarks, “The program has even taught me exactly what I needed to help my fourth-grade daughter better understand fractions.”

If you are a veteran who is interested in VUB, call (931) 221-7600 for further information and directions to the office in Room 212 of the McReynolds Building on the APSU campus. You will need to bring along the member copy of your DD214 and your most recent 1040 tax forms. You will be tested for placement in the program, and if you qualify, you can begin attending soon afterwards.


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