Academic Excellence- The Bridge Newsletter

Academic Excellence

Program for military veterans proves popular

Attending college as an adult can prove challenging, as life experiences vary from student to student. Reaching for higher education after serving in the armed forces can present other challenges. The “From Boots to Books – Veterans and Student Service Members Academic Assistance Program” offered on our campus addresses the latter.

Cody Stewart and Alex Prescaro- From Boots to Books Participants

Student participants, Cody Stewart (left) and Alexander Prescaro, in the “From Boots to Books” program.

Award-winning program

From Boots to Books… was recently recognized by Victory Media, a veteran-owned business and publisher of G.I. Jobs and, “Guide to Military Friendly Schools” as a component to designate Purdue Calumet as a “Military Friendly School.” Purdue Calumet received the recognition after more than 12,000 colleges and universities nationwide were observed and much research was conducted.

Mission of unique system

From Boots  to Books… is designed to create a community of university personnel, students and community agencies that provide support and services to increase the likelihood of veterans and student service members achieving their educational goals.

“I first heard about this program at student orientation last fall, and it’s proven to be very valuable,” said Eddra Harrington of Gary, a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard. “There’s quite a bit involved– financial information, tutoring, social events and many other resources. There’s a lot of support out there.”

Combination of Services

In addition to tutoring, academic monitoring, counseling and field experiences are provided, according to identified needs. Also, informal gatherings with like students take place.

“We had students returning from war and had no way to address issues they were facing,” From Boots to Books… Assistant Director Akili Shakur said about the impetus to start the program. “They are coming back to a different culture, and transition is extremely hard.”

Mission to continue

Initially funded through the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University-West Lafayette, Operation Diploma Initiative and the Lilly Endowment, the program has proven popular, with approximately 150 Purdue Calumet students participating.

The From Boots to Books… office is located in the Student Union & Library Building, room 335. To obtain more information, call (219) 989-2727.