By Lorri Ooley
Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) mission is to motivate young adults to become better citizens, and – in recognizing the need for further eduication – our local JROTC program is now offering the ability for local students to earn college credits while attending high school.
JROTC is a program that is held during regular school hours, yet offers classroom learning experiences beyond the normal mainstream setting. The program supports students through building personal self-discipline, confidence, and setting goals, and JROTC provides students the opportunity to expand their education through training, developing leadership skills, and building mentorship relationships with retired military personnel.
JROTC is not driven by recruitment, rather the program provides students with the opportunity to pursue avenues of service if they so choose, such as attending specialized academies, enlisting at a higher rank and pay grade. There are no contracts that students have to enter into the military to utilize the benefits of JROTC, nor is there an expectation that students enter the military upon graduation.
The program also supplies – free of charge – all uniforms, books and equipment used by the students. All instructors are retired military personnel, and provide the students with additional support of role modeling and mentorship. Our local instructors are Major Mike Apodaca, Senior Army Instructor, and First Sargent Robert Haro, Army Instructor.
Recently RTG Associates, an educational services, made available college credits for JROTC for those attending Hot Springs High School. The college credits will be given through a joint program with Adams State University (ASU), which is fully accredited. Futhermore, these credits can be used for graduating high school students both at HSHS and towards the completion of an undergraduate degree at ASU, located in Alamosa, Colo.
ASU reports that it has a historic transferability rate of 99.7 percent to other universities and colleges, which will allow for students to transfer the credits earned through this program to their desired college, whether it be ASU or another insititution.
The program is available to qualifying students, from grades 9 through 12, with specific course offerings each semester and for each branch of the military service.
Currently, there are 15 courses offered locally or online, with a total of 22 credits guaranteed to be earned within each branch of JROTC, which can be used towards earning either an associate’s of arts/science or bachelor’s of arts/science degree. There are an additional 11 credits that can be earned by all students, both cadets and non-cadets, which can be applied to the student’s general education credits. (See “High School Military Academies Cours Proposals/Options – 2014/2015 SY” for further details.)
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