Students who participate in ROTC now receiving course credits

two students, one in ROTC uniform, standing
Juniors Julian Sanders, left, and Jillian Elmer participate in ROTC. Grand Valley students in the program will now receive course credit for their time and commitment.
Image credit - Sarah Anderson

Grand Valley students who participate in ROTC will now receive course credit for their time and commitment.

About 20 Grand Valley students currently train and participate with the Army ROTC program at Western Michigan University. While the WMU program will still be their base, Grand Valley students will now earn 18 credits, or up to eight criminal justice courses, toward graduation requirements.

Jillian Elmer and Julian Sanders are both juniors and active ROTC cadets. They took up the cause of receiving credit for their work with Lynn "Chick" Blue, vice president for Enrollment Development. It took Blue only three weeks to work the problem and tell students the good news.

"It was not so much about me getting these credits," said Elmer, who is majoring in criminal justice. "ROTC is a considerable time commitment in addition to the classes, it's just a lot to balance. So many people work hard in our company. I wanted to do this in support of their commitment."

ROTC students from Grand Valley and other Grand Rapids-area colleges train at the WMU Grand Rapids Campus on East Beltline. Training includes physical fitness classes three days a week, one two-hour lab and one three-hour class, plus various squad meetings. 

Sanders said the news that Grand Valley will offer credit may increase participation in ROTC. He is a political science major from Flint who has already signed a commitment with the Michigan Army National Guard.

"I think getting credit for ROTC will help with recruiting and will create more awareness of the program on campus," Sanders said.


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