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Woodsmanship for the Civilian conservation corps, 1937. Courtesy of the University of Michigan via HathiTrust.

In addition to the work that the CCC did with conservation, the program also provided benefits to enrollees beyond work relief. They were allowed to take part in educational programs after their work was done for the day. While some attempts were made to formalize the educational opportunities for the men, a full-scale comprehensive education program was never implemented. Some of the administrators involved with the CCC saw it as a work relief program only and education programs as a potential distraction from work.

There were CCC instructors appointed to oversee education with assistance from one enrollee in each camp. In addition to the camp instructors, enrollees volunteered their expertise in teaching courses. Local community members also served as instructors. The CCC engaged in vocational training, helping men develop skills such as welding, surveying, building, carpentry, and driving.

The CCC was also effective at providing reading education to men who previously were illiterate. Over 57,000 men in the camps learned to read. Many men who had interrupted their education to go to work were able to leave the CCC with a high school diploma, and some were also able to obtain college degrees. Given the limited amount of time allocated to education in the CCC camps, it is impressive that so many enrollees were able to further their education.