BASC course connects veteran students with their communities

PLAINVIEW, TX — Military veteran Reginald Moore’s BASC training has the Wayland Baptist University student on a mission to serve his community in Alaska.

Moore began serving at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church Food Pantry to fulfill community service requirements that are part of Wayland’s veteran specific BASC course. However, his wife, daughter, and son are also participating now.

BASC stands for Best Achievement Strategies for College, according to Christine Lockridge, Project Coordinator for Wayland’s Virtual Center for Veteran Student Services.

“BASC serves as an introductory course aimed at preparing students for success in higher education,” she said, noting the necessity for a tailored approach to veteran students, considering diverse skill sets, experiences, and challenges. “The veteran specific BASC course is designed with these considerations to lay a foundation for the unique academic journey of veteran students.”

Moore said his BASC service learning project has brought him closer to his family, the church, and God.

“Being a blessing to those in need has been a huge reward for Reginald and has contributed to the WBU mission of service to God and humankind,” said Nate Stephens, who instructs the eight-week online course for veterans.

Moore explained that the pantry was set up by the church to provide support services to families in need of emergency food, clothing, household supplies, and other assistance. “The goal is to eliminate hunger throughout Alaska,” he said.

Noting BASC is a staple of a Wayland education, Lockridge said the veteran specific BASC course is impacting communities through service learning projects wherever students reside.

“The course is designed to help veteran students transition into academic culture,” she explained. “The course targets the unique challenges veteran students face in academia and prompts them to develop the skillset to meet these challenges through assignments.”

Learning service projects give veteran students an opportunity to use what they learn in real-life situations, and Stephens said students have engaged in a variety of projects in their communities.

“I had one student who was part of the mission supporting fire victims in Hawaii last year,” the instructor said. “Another created homemade coupons that he passed out to homeless folks for a curbside home-cooked hot meal.

Like Moore, Amy Palmer’s BASC service learning project became a family endeavor. The veteran took her husband and daughter along when she volunteered for the Noonday Pantry operated by Sagebrush Church in Albuquerque, N.M.

“This pantry helps those facing homelessness or food insecurity in Albuquerque,” Stephens explained. “They meet every other weekend to provide food, clothing and fellowship to those down on their luck.”

“Participants get a meal, supplies and a spiritual message,” Palmer said.

Kevin Ruedy is a veteran student whose BASC learning service project involves coaching a 12-years-and-under hockey team in Fairbanks, Alaska.

“Kevin is establishing himself as a pioneer with regard to coaching and mentoring about 15 kids through hockey,” Stephens said. “Coordinating travel, lodging, funds, and food for these youth created a time management dilemma. Kevin is doing this with his son while becoming a spiritual role model for the kids and helping them learn sportsmanship, camaraderie, and physical well-being.”

Nicholas Anderson said his BASC learning service project has allowed him to teach his sons about the importance of community. The veteran took his wife and two sons to Piedras Marcada Dam, a storm drain that provides drainage for New Mexico communities during the rainy season.

“This drain ensures homes and areas are not flooded,” Anderson explained.

“Nicholas and his family joined a group to gather trash in and around the dam,” Stephens said. “His efforts were indicative of Wayland’s mission.”

Lockridge said Moore, Palmer, Ruedy, and Anderson are just some of the examples of how BASC learning service projects are helping veteran students and their communities.

“This program takes Wayland’s mission of service to God and humankind beyond our primary campus in Plainview, and our extension campuses in Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, Lubbock, Amarillo, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, as well as WBUonline,” Lockridge said. “This program allows veteran students to serve their communities as they transition to academic life.  They will use the skillset learned for the rest of their life, and their communities will benefit from their service.”