The University of Pennsylvania’s Veteran’s Upward Bound program is helping to prove how powerful a part the humanities can play in the experience of adult students. The program serves Philadelphia-area veterans seeking to regain learning skills and prepare for college-level studies. The goal is to increase the rate at which these individuals—particularly low-income, first-generation college attenders—go on to complete post-secondary degrees.
Beginning in 2015, with initial funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Standing Together initiative, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council partnered with Penn VUB to expand and enhance the program’s humanities components. This decision was based on an understanding that the humanities help build vital skills such as synthesizing information, effective communication, and critical reflection, all of which contribute to success in post-secondary education.