Bookmark
EMPLOYMENT / EDUCATION / TRAINING

Offering a First-year Composition Classroom for Veterans and Cadets: A Learning-Community Model Case Study

November, 2017
Article:

This article discusses the creation of first-year-composition courses designed with a learning community or cohort approach for student-veterans, service-members, and cadets. The study investigated the impact of enrolling military-affiliated students in linked courses within a traditional classroom to interact under a continuing instructor, engage with military-based readings, and opt to write about their military backgrounds. The study found that the course supported student veterans’ engagement, promoted students’ active and collaborative learning processes and facilitated interaction between military-affiliated and civilian students.

Abstract

This article discusses my university’s creation of first-year-composition courses designed with a learning community or cohort approach for student-veterans, service-members, and cadets desiring this model. At my locale, neither the standard sections of Composition I nor II had been created to provide a military population with a common student community, customized readings, flexible attendance policies, and seamless communication with university veteran services that might better facilitate the transition to college for some student-veterans. Thus, as writing program administrator, I piloted linked composition courses for a service-member, veteran, and ROTC learning community, with the latter course also enrolling a nontraditional-student population. In a year-long study, I investigated the impact of enrolling military-affiliated students in linked courses within a traditional classroom to interact under a continuing instructor, engage with military-based readings, and opt to write about their military backgrounds. In presenting patterns that emerged, I argue that these experimental learning-community courses, contingent upon some local factors, supported many military-affiliated students’ engagement with first-year composition, as well as facilitated their transition to academia, through a loosely-structured, cohort model promoting aspects of students’ common but broadly-defined identities.

Full Reference

Hembrough, T. (2017). Offering a First-year Composition Classroom for Veterans and Cadets: A Learning-Community Model Case Study. Journal of Veterans Studies, 2(2), 140–171. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v2i2.21

Report a problem with this article