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Jan. 27, 2016
Northwest Missouri State University and the Missouri Army National Guard (MOARNG) have entered into an agreement to establish the Guard Officer Leadership Development (GOLD) Program on the Northwest campus.
Representatives of Northwest and MOARNG will gather for a ceremony to formally sign the agreement. The ceremony will begin immediately after the open session of the Northwest Board of Regents meeting Friday, Jan. 29, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom. The Board meeting begins at 9 a.m. and is projected to end about 11 a.m.
The GOLD Program works to develop qualified Missouri citizens into commissioned officers in MOARNG through classroom instruction, leadership laboratories and physical conditioning training. It is designed to provide a pathway to becoming an officer in the MOARNG at schools that do not offer Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs.
The GOLD Program prepares candidates for the rigors and challenges they will face at Officer Candidate School (OCS). Participants will attend military science classes during their freshman, sophomore and junior years at Northwest. During the summer between their junior and senior years, each participant will be required to attend accelerated OCS training, which consists of eight weeks of intensive leadership training in South Dakota.
The GOLD Program at Northwest will launch in fall 2016 and be the third such program in the state. Missouri Southern State University and Southeast Missouri State University launched the GOLD program on their campuses in 2013.
“Northwest Missouri State University and the surrounding community are very military-friendly,” MOARNG Capt. Scott M. McCollum said. “The ROTC program recently relocated to the Kansas City area and left behind a void. The administration expressed interest in maintaining a military presence on campus and the GOLD program offers a mutually beneficial opportunity for both programs.”
To be eligible, students must be MOARNG members and accepted to enroll at Northwest. Graduates of the program are eligible to become commissioned officers. Upon commissioning, participants will return to the University to assist cadre and to finish their degree.
Under the agreement, MOARNG will administer the program and provide a commissioned captain or major to serve as professor of military science, and Northwest will provide a primary instructor to oversee the academic areas of the program. The program will have an office in the Garrett-Strong Science Building on the Northwest campus.
“The GOLD Program will add to Northwest an additional approach for students to embed leadership development in their undergraduate program while obtaining financial support to do so,” said Dr. Michael Steiner, dean of Northwest’s College of Arts and Sciences. “The partnership will also bring to campus a professor of military science and other National Guard staff whose service to our community will include significant support for student success as well as an enhanced connection to our local Guard unit.”
McCollum said the program offers affordability to those students who ordinarily would not be able to attend.
“Service in the Missouri National Guard offers benefits such as student loan repayment programs, federal and state tuition assistance, GI Bill and scholarship opportunities that minimalize the financial impact on members of the program,” McCollum said. “The GOLD program will provide participants with leadership training, and the job-specific training they receive from the Missouri National Guard will equip them with skills and experience that they can apply in the workplace.”
Northwest has a long history of supporting veterans and military programs, and it has been recognized for four consecutive years by Victory Media as a Military Friendly School.
Northwest is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers a range of degree and certification programs that benefit military students. Northwest also is VA approved, gives credit for the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). The University follows American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations when granting credit for military experience or from other regionally accredited institutions as transcripts are evaluated by the Office of Admissions.
Further enhancing its services for veterans, Northwest and the Missouri Veterans Commission partner to host a Veteran Service Officer in the University’s Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). Office hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the first and third Mondays of every month in Room 1222 of the CIE. The service is free and patrons may learn more by calling the CIE at 660.562.1710.
Additionally, a Northwest advisor assists veterans with career placement, and the University has full-time veteran counselors on its staff. Northwest has veteran organizations on its campus, including a Northwest Student Veterans Association. Northwest also offers a variety of scholarships for military personnel and veterans, and military students called to active service may return to Northwest without a penalty.
Founded in 1905, Northwest is a four-year university that offers a broad range of profession-based undergraduate and graduate programs on its Maryville campus as well as locations in Kansas City and St. Joseph.
With an enrollment of 6,600 students, Northwest recently was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the top moderately selective regional university in Missouri for the second consecutive year. Northwest’s graduation rate is in the 85th percentile of the University’s national peer group, while 97 percent of Northwest bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468