SPINDALE – Isothermal students will now have access to the Army ROTC program at Gardner-Webb University.
Officials gathered Tuesday at Isothermal Community College to sign the participation agreement and memorandum of understanding. The program will allow Isothermal students to take GWU courses in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for two years before completing studies at Gardner-Webb and going on to the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant on active or reserve duty.
The program is set to begin in the Fall 2018 semester. Officials from both schools plan to begin recruiting students from area high schools. Students who have been out of high school for a period of time are also eligible to apply.
“As a retired colonel from the Army Reserve, it goes without saying I’m a strong advocate of ROTC,” said Dr. Frank Bonner, president of Gardner-Webb. “This is just a tremendous leadership program. It teaches leadership, quite frankly, more effectively than anything I’ve ever been aware of. It also teaches many management skills as well.”
Participation in ROTC at the high school level is not required to get into this program.
Students will enroll a college transfer program at Isothermal and take a combination of Military Science and Military Fitness courses at Gardner-Webb for two years. During that period of time, they are eligible to apply for the Powers Scholarship that could pay for all of their Isothermal tuition.
Students who successfully complete those two years will then be eligible to sign a contract and scholarship with the U.S. Army that will pay for the remaining two years of the program at Gardner-Webb. In return, the student will serve four years of Army active duty or six years in the Army Reserve.
“This is an excellent way to come to ICC tuition free for its courses and to take a handful of courses at GWU at a reduced cost,” said Isothermal’s President Walter Dalton. “Beyond that the student has the opportunity to compete for scholarships that can lead to free room and board and free tuition at GWU, plus spending money of up to $550 per month while still in college.”
Dalton also pointed out the extensive benefits available to those who retire from military service including pension and various insurance benefits.