Penn State Berks will begin offering Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) courses in the fall 2018 semester as part of the Steel Battalion Army ROTC program. The college will be the only institution of higher education in Berks County to offer ROTC coursework.
Army ROTC at Penn State Berks is an elective course taken alongside students’ prescribed major course of study. ROTC is designed to develop and enhance the leadership and management skills of today’s students. Participants enjoy all the aspects of campus life with the added benefits of enhancing their skills in the science of warfare and the art of leadership. Upon graduation, Cadets in the Steel Battalion will earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant, an Officer in the United States Army. These newly commissioned Second Lieutenants will have the opportunity to serve on Active Duty or in the Reserve component.
ROTC is not a major in itself; it is designed to develop and enhance the leadership and management skills of today’s students. Students develop their leadership abilities by learning critical-thinking skills; the value of character, competence and courage; self-discipline; and team building. These skills are applicable to any degree or career, enhancing the educational experience while simultaneously making students more marketable in any career field.
Participants are also challenged through activities such as physical fitness drills, orienteering, small-unit tactics, marksmanship and leadership reaction courses. Additionally, ROTC Cadets may be eligible to apply for generous scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition and fees OR room and board.
Courses are worth two or three credits and all Penn State majors accept at least six credits of ROTC. Students may enroll in first-year and sophomore Army ROTC classes (the Basic Course) with absolutely no military obligation. Introductory courses teach the fundamentals of leadership along with the organization of the U.S. military and basic soldiering skills. As a participant in the basic program, students are also eligible for the many extracurricular and social activities within Penn State’s ROTC program.