COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The campus of Texas A&M is calm, even quiet this week before students come back for classes in a few weeks.
However, there’s one class already going on where 20 soon-to-be college students are getting a head start on their learning.
They are all U.S. enlisted veterans participating in a program called the Warrior-Scholar Project.
Just three months ago, David Cornavaca was serving in the U.S. Navy. Now, he’s about to begin his college career at Texas A&M to study Kinesiology.
He’s taking the academic boot camp this week to get ready for the college transition to Texas A&M.
“It’s a really big school. I went to community college, so I don’t really know what to expect as far as the reputation and how big of a program this is,” said Cornavaca.
“I just want to prepare myself,” he added.
The Warrior-Scholar Project is designed to help veterans navigate the rigorous, often stressful, life of college.
The week-long program focuses on academic skills, tactical skills, like finding a place to study and note-taking, and transitioning into college life.
The Warrior-Scholar Project is completely free of charge. Texas A&M professors volunteer their time to teach classes and other funding covers room and board.
Plus, each camp is run by a team of student veterans, including Jarrod Romine who went through the program a few years ago at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before becoming an Aggie.
“I had a wealth of knowledge and experience from my time in the service, as every veteran does, but I didn’t know how to apply it in a university setting,” said Romine.
Romine served in the Marines for eight years and was deployed overseas four times. He’s now studying Political Science with a minor in Public Health at Texas A&M.
He attributes much of his success to the Warrior-Scholar Project.
“I took what I learned there and it made me a more successful college student,” said Romine.
This is the first year the program is at Texas A&M and the only university in Texas to offer it.
The end goal of the Warrior-Scholar Project is to build confidence and empower veterans to find success in higher education.
“The Warrior-Scholar Project is built around the idea that its capabilities and knowledge that student veterans already have—they just need to know how to apply it and make the best use of it,” said Romine.