The Iowa State University Veteran Center is working in conjunction with Project Rebirth to create an effective program for student Veterans as they continue their education at Iowa State University. As Veterans attend school, they may find difficulty adjusting from their military experience, relating to fellow students, missing the camaraderie from their unit, isolated from their communities, and searching for ways to cope with the challenges they face.
The Project Cohort model combines service projects, outdoor adventures and other experiential learning activities with ongoing health and wellness education. The goal is to create small communities of Veterans that support each member's efforts to build on their strengths and overcome challenges. Project Cohort is grounded in the belief that providing small group support that is ongoing and based where Veterans live, study, and work will be the most effective way to positive and lasting improvement in their lives.
During the Fall of 2016, Iowa State University’s Veteran Center and Project Rebirth launched a pilot cohort at ISU consisting of 8 student Veterans. During the Fall Semester, the cohort members began the program with a week-long outdoor adventure to Cloud Peak Wilderness Area in Wyoming that helped establish camaraderie within the group. They then were provided opportunities to attend over 10 activities that included: community service projects that re-established a sense of purpose and belonging within the community; informal educational discussions on mental and physical well being with a focus on positive personal growth; and casual get-togethers to maintain and build their friendships.
A model of Project Cohort was first developed by Dr. David Scheinfeld, who designed the original model after years of research and work with Veterans. Currently, Donna Gaffney, an educator and psychologist who has worked with Project Rebirth for a number of years, is organizing the manual for future cohorts. The Project Cohort model continues to be developed over time as we seek an effective and efficient model for Iowa State University.
Sign Up and Learn More
Click HERE to read the Iowa State Daily article how Project Cohort has helped student veterans.
Check out some of the activities the cohorts have been involved in. Click the picture to enlarge.