A 2002 research study determined that of 16 desirable character traits, JROTC students enrolled in an Atlanta public high school consistently displayed more of these traits and the behaviors associated with them than their counterparts who were not in the program (Bulach, 2002, p. 561). Behaviors included controlling oneself when one needs to, taking things that belong to others, and using drugs and alcohol. This sort of discipline is integral to the pursuit and fulfillment of career and personal obligations in the real world related to responsibility, and is a particularly good example of the positive effects of JROTC programs including those of the Navy.
Another noteworthy aspect of JROTC programs are the degree of attention it places upon academics. In many ways, the primary criticism of this program is that its students are not as academically successful as those not enrolled in it. While this statement is true, it can be explained due in part to the demographic of students enrolled in JROTC, which are predominantly at-risk students who, whether or not they were enrolled in such a program, are academically challenged. Yet JROTC programs have made an effort to address this discrepancy by attempting to integrate an approach of differentiated instruction. A 2001 research study indicated that learning styles for JROTC students varies by ethnicity/race and gender (Dunn et al., 2001, p. 11). A number of systematic changes took place throughout the United States Army Cadet Command in order to implement this change. Instructors were trained and curriculum was readily adapted to make way for this student-centered learning approach. A 2011 study utilizing quantitative measures attempted to demonstrate the efficacy of differentiated instruction by presenting a pair of student groups with exams before and after their learning via conventional and differentiated instruction. The findings indicated that "the experimental group that received differentiated instruction achieved a statistically significant effect size and scored higher than the control group on each test" (Clapper, 2011, p. ii). These findings emphasize JROTC's determination to close the academic scoring gap between participants and non-participants, and are indicative of its commitment towards academics.
Navy JROTC as a school elective has made a considerable difference in the lives of students for several years. It has helped to increase the rate of graduation, to boost self-esteem for female participants, and to provide an alternative for at-risk students to complete their studies. Additionally, this program has allowed for students to pursue the formal, academic study of leadership, and to apply it in a number of practical experiences that will provide useful fodder for career training, in some instances. Additionally, students enrolled in the program display characteristics and behaviors that are aligned with the core values of the military and which emphasize a responsibility and duty to self, community, and to citizenship. As such, it is a commendable program, and is highly recommended for students in postsecondary settings.
Aguirre, a., & Johnson, B. (2005). Militarizing youth in public education: Observations from a military-style charter school. Social Justice, 32(3), 148-148-162. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/231902573?accountid=27965
Bulach, C.R. (2002). Comparison of Character Traits for JROTC Students vs. Non-JROTC Students. Education, 122(3), 559.
Clapper, T.C. (2011). The effect of differentiated instruction on JROTC leadership training. (School of Education). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/854324096?accountid=27965
Dilger, Robert J., and Richard S. Beth.(2008). Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues. Publication no. 7-5700. p.35. Congressional Research Service, 2012.
Dunn, R., Honigsfeld, a., & Martel, L.D. (2001). Learning-Style Characteristics of JROTC Cadets and Instructors: Implications for Training and Instruction. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Funk, R. (2002). Developing Leaders Through High School Junior ROTC: Integrating Theory with Practice. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies (Baker College), 8(4), 43-53.
Hanser, L.M., Robyn, a.E., & National Defense Research Inst., S.A. (2000). Implementing High School JROTC [Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps] Career Academies. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Jennings, J., and Rentner, D. (2006). Ten Big Effects of the No Child Left Behind Act on Public Schools, Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 88, No. 02, 110-113. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Pema, E., & Mehay, S. (2009). The Effect of High School JROTC on Student Achievement,
Educational Attainment and Enlistment. Southern Economic Journal, 76(2), 533-533.
Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/212131794?accountid=27965