VA Boston Healthcare System

Veterans Upward Bound

Veterans Upward Bound, an organization funded by the Department of Education, is collaborating with VA Boston Healthcare System to bring educational access to veterans within the facility. The program brings needs assessment, instruction, and other academic support activities to veterans seeking to enter higher education or earn a high school degree equivalent.

Marybeth O'Sullivan, Outreach Advisor for Veterans Upward Bound, provided some details. "Veterans Upward Bound has been in existence for 35 years, and there are currently 46 projects across the country. Our collaboration with UMass Boston provides the only Veterans Upward Bound in New England".

 veteran watching dvd
Typically, veterans who need help returning to their education may choose from 16-week classroom instruction, tutoring, or self-paced learning. In June 2008, O'Sullivan worked with Shirley Jackson, Spinal Cord Injury Social Work Coordinator, to present the self-paced option with volunteer tutors to residents of the Spinal Cord Injury unit. One of the first to sign on was resident George Silva III (pictured left).

 

"I just said, "Hey, why not further my education?" I like the opportunity to retrain my brain,"  explained Silva, who is currently reviewing basic math concepts with the help of volunteer John Kral (pictured below with Silva). He views informational DVDs on his laptop computer, preferring to use the built-in mouse for navigation. "His small-motor dexterity has really improved", noted Jackson. When an assignment is completed, it is forwarded to faculty at UMass for their review and feedback.

Self-paced courses are varied and extensive, including such options as Greek Thought, Old Testament, Civil Liberties, Churchill, Foundations of Western Civilization, and more. The program at VA Boston has expanded to veterans from other residential programs at the Brockton campus, and currently there are ten participants in total. Should you or a veteran you know be interested in more information about Veterans Upward Bound, please visit one of the links below.

 veteran and his tutor

Veterans Upward Bound at UMass Boston*

 

National Association of Veterans Upward Bound*

* Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites. The link will open in a new window.