On August 4, 2008 the Army began a new program aimed at providing recruits an opportunity to earn their General Equivalency Diploma (GED) before beginning Basic Combat Training (BCT). This pilot program, the Army Prep School (APS) is in response to the declining numbers of high school graduates who would be eligible to serve in the military.
Soldiers are tested prior to starting the 4 week classes. This program is only open to Army recruits who are no longer eligible to return to high school and have achieved a score of 50% or higher on the ASVAB test. The instructors will focus on each Soldier’s specific needs in the classes, and the Soldiers may test out of the program at any point by taking and passing the GED test. If at the end of the 4 weeks, a Soldier is not able to pass the GED test, then they will be discharged. For those Soldiers who do pass, they will begin their BCT immediately.
They are starting with a group of 240 recruits, and if the pilot program is a success, then the Army hopes to expand on the program. The program will be continually evaluated for the next year and decisions will be based on that information.
Ft. Jackson has taken two barracks buildings and turned them into classrooms, with a third building becoming a test center. The soldiers will live in adjacent barracks set aside for those participating in the APS program.
This program benefits both the Army and the soldiers. The Army will gain more new recruits and the soldiers not only will gain admission to the Army, but he will also have his GED, something that will serve him well for the rest of his life.
“The nation would benefit by having a more intelligent Army and citizenry. The cost of training these quality individuals would be limited to the initial four week course, which in many cases will be even less than that as they could test out early. A smarter Army, recruiting from a broader based of individuals, at a relatively low cost benefits everyone involved.” http://www.army.mil/aps/08/information_papers/prepare/Army_Prep_School.html
If you have any questions or are interested in entering this program, be sure to get in touch with your nearest Army recruiter for more information.
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