Students Will Now be Able to Participate in UMD Training
College of Southern Maryland students who are interested in becoming an officer in the United States Air Force can now sign up for the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) through the University of Maryland, College Park. An agreement was finalized in February that allows CSM students to continue their studies at CSM while participating in AFROTC training at the University of Maryland campus.
Participating students would travel to College Park once a week to participate in physical training and leadership lab and take classes on leadership, security issues and the structure of the Air Force, according to 2nd Lt. Cameron Hefner. Hefner manned an information table about the new program at a Transfer Fair held Feb. 23 at CSM's La Plata Campus.
The college's new arrangement establishes CSM as a crosstown school – a college or university that offers AFROTC, but whose students take the AFROTC classes each week at the nearest host university. CSM students who sign up for the program can then continue with AFROTC if they transfer to a four-year college or university that has a AFROTC program or that is also designated as a crosstown school by AFROTC. “By participating in this program, students can take courses toward being an officer at College Park,” said James Spence Jr., senior coordinator of transfer services and articulations at CSM. “This will eliminate them having to go to Officer School after graduation. These same courses can be transferred back to CSM so that the student can apply them wherever applicable.”
Students in any discipline can participate. Students who sign up would be expected to show up to all mandatory AFROTC events as well as maintain all academic and military standards of the program.
“If you want to be an Air Force officer, this is what the program does,” Hefner said, listing the benefits of a military career. “You can see the world. Competitive pay. Regular promotion opportunities. Opportunities to gain higher education.”
Hefner noted that there are AFROTC scholarships that can assist students with the cost of their undergraduate degree. “Some are available. But it's competitive,” he said. Most AFROTC students are not on scholarship. Students who are participating in the program do not have to make a commitment to the Air Force until the beginning of their junior year or if they are receiving a scholarship.
“The only financial obligation that students have is the registration fee when they register for the program,” Spence said. “The AFROTC program does not charge for tuition or uniforms. Students in the program will be dual enrolled and will have access to all of the amenities of a College Park student. There is very limited scholarships available through this program. Students will have to compete for them.”
The agreement with the Air Force ROTC program is just the first step for CSM toward partnering with ROTC training. “We are planning to include the other armed force branches in the future,” Spence said.
To apply for AFROTC, there is an application process that is run by the officers and non-commissioned officers of the detachment. Interested students can visit www.afrotc.umd.edu to fill out an interest form and start the process.
For information on CSM, visit www.csmd.edu.