This paper discusses the relationship between first-year composition courses and The GI Bill, and how they helped bring in institutional transformations, and increased enrollment within higher education institutions in the united states.
Composition historians have long argued that writing programs were radically transformed in the post-WWII era as a consequence of GI Bill enrollments. But, rising enrollments in this period were not just the cause of huge expansions in first-year writing programs. Rather, first-year composition helped to bring about huge expansions in higher education. Immediately preceding the introduction of the GI Bill, first-year composition became a de facto curricular requirement for institutions that wanted to be eligible for GI Bill funds. Not surprisingly, there was a wave of institutional transformations near the end of WWII as single-purpose institutions became multi-purpose state colleges to attract the newly established Federal largesse. First-year composition helped facilitate these changes around the country as institutions adopted or reformed first-year offerings to become GI Bill eligible.
Skinnell, R. (2017). Enlisting Composition: How First-Year Composition Helped Reorient Higher Education in the GI Bill Era. Journal of Veterans Studies, 2(1), 79–84. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v2i1.30