Positive Response on New Military Co-op Program from Students

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Program preps high school students for military service

2 credits and a work out, would you do it? / Frank H. Carter

2 credits and a work out, would you do it? / Frank H. Carter

Author: Lauren Neumann – contributor

Starting next year, high school students will be able to get school credits for partaking in basic military training.

Through the Saskatchewan government, the 38 Canadian Brigade Group, Regina Public Schools and Regina Catholic Schools Division have teamed up and created the Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserve Co-op Program.

This program gives high school students of Canadian citizenship, with a minimum grade 10 education, the opportunity to receive 2 high school credits with the completion of a Canadian History 30 class and basic military training at the Regina Armoury. It aims to teach students important life and leadership skills, as well as offer numerous employment opportunities after graduation.

Some students are very eager to be able to opt out of the regular classroom setting and actually get credits for it. Nicholas Dheilly, a grade 11 football player, was excited to hear about the new program.

“I’d be very interested in doing it,” he said. “[You get a] free workout, get in shape, get two credits. It’s good to know.”

Dheilly has his sights set on attending post-secondary education and hadn’t had any interest in the army prior to the program being introduced.

“I would consider [joining the army] after the program is done, [after I] see how hard it is and all that.”

Other high school students are just beginning to learn about and develop opinions on their new credit option, which will be effective February 2015.

“It would be kind of cool. Personally, I wouldn’t do it because I don’t really want to go into the army or have any interest in that,” said Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School grade 12 SRC President Turner Thompson. “At least [students] would get more information about it with History 30 and the army, and [the army will] actually educate the kids about what the army is about instead of kids who have no idea and just say they want to do it to be a cool army guy. It would help a lot to get actually educated about it in grade 11 or 12, while you’re young, just to kind of know what it’s all about before you actually get into it.”

Richard Donnelly, Partnership Consultant for the Regina Catholic School Board, says this program is not all about the workout.

“The army doesn’t accept everyone. They’re after a higher quality of student.”

He does not think the program is going to be a classroom escape for easy credits. There will be a 3-5 student acceptance rate per high school, with the army investing $12,000-$20,000 in each student’s education.

“Both sides, the students and the army, will come to an understanding about how serious the program is,” he said. “[Students will] take one direction, and find options for 100 different careers.”

Though the program may appear to students to be a fun alternative to sitting in class, the Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserve Co-op Program appears to have a whole lot more in store for these students’ educations and futures. Beginning Sept. 17 the army will be visiting Regina high schools to give the students more information on how they can enter the co-op program.

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