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JSU SROTC Program Receives National Recognition for STEM Graduate Rate

ROTC-15Jackson State University’s Senior Reserve Officers Training Program successfully met the Department of the Army’s Evaluation Criteria for 2013-2014, the Army has said. The program exceeded the minimum commission average of 12, achieving a three-year commission average of 12.4, according to a letter from Gen. Peggy C. Combs to President Carolyn W. Meyers.

The program also has a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduation rate of 24.2 percent, exceeding the cadet command average of 16.1 percent, Combs said.

“I appreciate your cooperative efforts and ask for your continued emphasis to maximize STEM student participation in our program,” Combs said in the letter.

Meyers said the university is pleased with the SROTC program’s achievement.

“This is significant for our students, our SROTC program and the faculty in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology,” Meyers said. “

Rodney Hall, recruiting operations officer, said he was not surprised by JSU’s performance. He said there has been a consistent effort to make JSU’s program among the nation’s.

“It has been a milestone we’ve been trying to reach. To be honest we will exceed it over the next two years – based on the numbers we have. We’re projected to do more in 2015 and 2016,” Hall said of the success of the STEM graduates.

The Army’s goal is 30 percent – Jackson State University SROTC program has been challenged to exceed that percentage..

Hall says JSU has recognized the future of leadership and as such have reformed their approach to recruiting.

“The Army has had a paradigm shift more toward STEM. To stay ahead of the curve, I have been investing more time in the STEM programs at JSU, trying to recruit in that arena. I have also changed our pitch when recruiting,” Hall said.

Previously “students may have viewed” it as the place for scholarships, now the narrative, focuses on a competitive mindset and progressive career moves. Hall says there have been new techniques to incorporate this philosophy.