Veterans and active members of the armed forces will have classes just for them at the University of Illinois Springfield. Students will discuss their time in the military, and must also complete an in-depth writing assignment about a life-changing experience. Kevin Beeson, a visiting instructor at UIS, teaches other experential learning courses. He says he's watched as other students bond over shared life experiences. Beeson says he created the class after interviewing students with military backgrounds and noticing the bond they share.
"I would say 10 minutes into the meeting, they were friends, all four of them, and just talking back and forth and teasing. I know in particular, one of them, his wife later said to me, 'he never opens up like that with anybody else. But for some reason, in that group, he was comfortable.'"
The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs says it would support other universities implementing similar plans - as long as it doesn't stop students from reaching their academic goals.
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