ACC Designs Courses for Veterans – with an Instructor Who Can Relate

It isn’t always easy to go from a battle zone to the classroom, but ACC hopes to make that transition easier this fall with two unique courses designed specifically for veterans. The college is offering an English composition class centering on the veteran experience as well as a creative writing course entitled “Memoir for Veterans.”

“Veterans are accustomed to relying on one another and supporting each other,” says Dr. Christine Leche, who will teach the classes. “This provides the same atmosphere.”

Dr. Christine Leche with some of her military students in Afghanistan

Veterans will find it easy to relate to Leche. She spent nearly 20 years teaching U.S. military men and women on bases around the world, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Spain, Kosovo, and Honduras.

“There is a sense of trust with an instructor who’s been there as well,” says Leche. “I’m really pleased to teach these courses.”

While in Afghanistan, Leche lived on Forward Operating Bases, sleeping in barracks, eating alongside soldiers in the mess hall, and teaching everything from grammar to fiction and poetry.

“Re-creating that sense of camaraderie will give veterans a sense of belonging and allow them to open up in ways they may not in different settings,” says Leche.

The classes will be held at ACC’s Northridge Campus. Enrollment in the English Composition I class is restricted to veterans, while the creative writing class is open to veterans, active duty military, family members, and supporters. The composition class is full, but there is still space available in the creative writing class.

Mark Harden, manager of veteran affairs for the college, believes the classes will be cathartic for students.

“It provides an outlet,” says Harden. “It will allow the veterans to truly understand they’re not alone.”

Leche hopes other schools will replicate the veteran-focused classes.

“I really believe there is a necessity for these kinds of courses,” she says. “After all the members of our military have done for us, it is the least we can do to support them and help them make a smooth transition as they return home.”

For information about registration, please contact (512) 223.INFO (4636).Veterans in need of assistance with benefits, advising, and counseling should contact ACC’s Veterans Affairs office (veterans@austincc.edu).

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