MISSOULA – Missoula College of the University of Montana will offer the state’s first veterans studies course beginning spring semester 2018. The college received a $97,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant this past summer, which made the course possible.
The course, designed for nonveterans and veterans alike, will study veterans as a unique culture within American society. Particularly, it will support students who may work with veterans in behavioral health, social work or counseling fields. Students will explore the nature of military service, experiences of war and consequences of service for veterans and their families through sources from history, literature, philosophy and psychology.
Lt. Col. Elizabeth Barrs, a doctoral student in history at UM, submitted the original grant proposal and will teach the course. A retired Army veteran herself, she helped launch a similar program at Eastern Kentucky University.
“I think students, whether they plan to work with veterans or not, will gain a much better understanding about how military service and combat affects veterans and their families,” Barrs said. “In turn, student veterans can gain a better understanding of their own service in a broader context.”
Barrs hopes that this course will bridge some of the gaps to understanding military experiences and bring awareness to an understudied demographic in American society.
For more information about the NEH grant visit https://news.umt.edu/2017/08/081017vets.php.
Interested students can register for the three-credit course – AASC 291 Special Topics: The Veterans Experience – on CyberBear.