Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Army Plan Puts Education before Service

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Army Plan Puts Education before Service

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - The Army launched two education programs last month aimed at boosting recruitment by offering prospects help in getting the equivalent of a high school degree or going to a community college before active duty.

The new incentives can bring "motivated young men and women back into the world of learning and the world of success," says U.S. Sec. of Education Richard W Riley, who endorsed both programs.

One program, College Plus, offers $150 a month or reserve training pay, depending on where they enlist, to recruits who want to complete a community college degree before serving. As part of the test, reserve service will be mandatory at some enlistment centers.

The other, GED Plus, offers non-graduates help in getting a General Equivalency Diploma - which is considered equal to a high school degree before they serve.

The Army has had difficulty selling the graduate equivalency program to the Pentagon because other military services are reluctant to use any incentive that might decrease the quality of recruits.

But Army Sec. Louis Caldera and retired Gen. Colin Powell, who also endorsed the plans, insist that won't happen because recruits will still have to qualify through strict screening and will go on active duty only when they have the equivalent of a degree. …

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