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Students to earn certificate through JROTC

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By Kelly Cantrall

Local schools are taking a fresh look at military training as a career foundation.

High school students who successfully complete a JROTC courseload now receive a certificate of training, which recognizes transferable career skills are taught in the program. The recognition also designates JROTC as a career pathway, allowing it to be included in the college and career readiness portion of Kentucky’s new education accountability model.

Completing courses in JROTC already provides students a head start when entering college or the military. Students who enter the military out of high school begin at a higher rank, while college-bound students immediately can enter ROTC at an advanced level.

The certificate highlights the value of skills students acquire in JROTC, said Stephen Fisher, lead instructor at North Hardin High School.

“Personally, I think it’s a great way to recognize what the program can do for students as far as to prepare them for a career,” he said.

Spence Baldwin, lead instructor at John Hardin High School, said it was time for the program to receive such attention.

“It’s good they’ve recognized that the military is a career option,” Baldwin said.

The programs likely won’t need to change much, if at all, to accommodate the certificate. Students must complete four levels of JROTC and pass an assessment to receive the certificate.

Fisher said he is pleased JROTC criteria will appear in the state standardized testing system, which allows schools as a whole to benefit from the career pathway designation.

Senior Kyle Hockenbary, company commander of the JROTC program at North Hardin, said he hopes the opportunity will attract more students to what he called a “fantastic program.”

“Really, it does set you up for success,” he said. 

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.