SMC vs Traditional Universities

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by believe2023, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. believe2023

    believe2023 Member

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    I had a question regarding SMC and Traditional Universities. My DS's goal is the USNA or the USAFA. He is doing all he can to realize his dream, but we know there has to be a plan B. He is planning to study Aerospace Engineering. We have been looking a schools that offer this major. I was curious if attending a school such as The Citadel vs a Traditional University made a difference when choosing to enter after college. Thank you.
     
  2. AJC

    AJC Member

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    Some of the SMCs have limited majors.
     
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Going to move this to the ROTC area.

    I think it ultimately comes down to what type of environment your DS will thrive in. For some the 24/7 military isn’t a good fit. SMCs provide a benefit for those going Army as they will get active duty as long they as they complete all requirements and get a positive endorsement. Since your DS is focused on Navy and Air Force options, that doesn’t factor in. Visit the schools; evaluate each on their own and figure out what works best. For anyone going to a school, out side of the SA route, with an ROTC scholarship, what happens if he decides to not pursue ROTC? Is it affordable? Would he stay? I say that because it happens every single year and should be discussed at a minimum.
     
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  4. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Don't limit your college search to schools with aerospace engineering, expand the search to include schools with mechanical engineering. There is not a huge difference between an aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering undergraduate curriculum. Career opportunities will not be limited by a BS degree in MechE vs AeroE.

    Choose the school that is the "right" fit academically and socially. That is where they will excell. Doing well academically will be much more important than SMC vs traditional college.
     
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  5. MohawkArmyROTC

    MohawkArmyROTC Recruiting Operations Officer

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    Excellent advice above about figuring what environment he would thrive in.

    Additionally, the best engineering schools tend not to be SMCs (Service Academies excluded). Most of the best engineering schools have ROTC. If your son is competitive for the Service Academies. I would recommend that he apply for ROTC scholarships to the Army in addition to the AF and Navy. That way he has more options. What if the Navy and AF didn't offer a scholarship, but the Army did?

    https://www.goarmy.com/rotc/high-school-students/four-year-scholarship.html
     
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  6. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

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    Son is at Texas A&M majoring in Aerospace Engineering. A&M has a competitive engineering program. Son is having a great experience as an AFROTC contract cadet in the Corps of Cadets. He is reapplying to USAFA but has already said if he doesn't get an appointment he will be happy spending the rest of his college time as an Aggie. He says either way I am going to be an officer in the Air Force.
     
  7. Landy91

    Landy91 Member

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    Agree with most of what Mohawk posted, and especially like keeping an open mind to other service options. But I'd have to disagree with engineering point. In fact, I've heard Texas A&M and Virginia Tech engineering is world-class (and VMI, although very small in comparison, is highly regarded as well).
    To Lynn114 I'd also add that while visiting the schools bear in mind that at some of the SMCs (like A&M, Citadel, Virginia Tech) DS or DD can opt out of the Corps and continue as a regular student. Best to keep all options open and consider overall location and total school atmosphere/enrollment.
     
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  8. believe2023

    believe2023 Member

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    Interestingly , my son has visited VA Tech and loved it, TX is a hike for us, but he will go and see Texas A&M
     
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  9. MohawkArmyROTC

    MohawkArmyROTC Recruiting Operations Officer

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    I did not mean to imply that Texas and VaTech didn't have good Engineering programs, just that they are not the best. The top 10 engineering schools are traditional universities, which have ROTC programs.
     
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  10. MichUSNA2021hopefulparent

    MichUSNA2021hopefulparent Member

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    Virginia Tech and Texas A&M are tied for 14th on the 2018 US News & World Report's list of Best Undergraduate Engineering programs.
     
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  11. MichUSNA2021hopefulparent

    MichUSNA2021hopefulparent Member

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    Higher ranked than Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Duke, Vanderbilt, to name a few.
     
  12. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

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    Lin114: Aerospace Engineering can fit nicely within a Mechanical Engineering major and the student does not limit his/her career options. As an undergraduate - advice to students is seek the broadest experience within your area of interest. You can always narrow your focus in grad school when you actually know more about your career interests. The Citadel offers a Mechanical Engineering major with six concentrations - one of which is areospace, but Cadets receive a good foundation in this engineering science. Boeing has its major manufacturing facility in Charleston which is a convenient way to do internships.

    Landy91 - The only way an undergraduate student can attend The Citadel and "opt out" of the Corps of Cadets is (1) Active Duty military with selection from his/her service for their officer commissioning programs (there are 18 attending in all four classes in 2017), (2) as a Veteran Student (65 attending in all four classes in 2017), (3) as a fifth year former Cadet (55 attending in 2017 to complete their degrees) or (4) in the Night School program - about 269 in 2017, local Charleston area residents who work during the day and attend school at night. I don't believe Lin114 would qualify for the Day programs - or be interested in the Night School.
     
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  13. NavyLady64

    NavyLady64 Member

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    Piling on here as well on this comment- Virginia Tech and Texas A&M are the only public research universities that are also SMCs (est. 1872 and 1876). They are PhD granting institutions and are not even ranked in the same category as "bachelor's only" granting institutions - which include all of the other SMC's but also the SA's as well. They are both (coincidentally) tied at 14th in the country in engineering in this classification. The one potential downside is that the academic rigor in that major is extremely high at VT and TAMU as a result. (I say this not as a criticism of the very fine institutions that make up the engineering programs at the other SMC's and SA's - only as a fact in terms of their Carnegie classification and research university status). My DD is an aerospace engineering major NROTC at VT and in the Corps there. It is very challenging but she loves the 24/7 military life, gives her many leadership opportunities and she believes she will be well prepared for commissioning. Good luck!!
     
  14. Landy91

    Landy91 Member

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    NavyLady64, Just want to clarify because there are always questions on this topic: all the other SMC's are NOT "bachelor's only" granting institutions. Every SMC in the United States today offers bachelor's and master's degrees, with VT and A&M also offering PhDs. Of the 5 SMCs which offer both bachelor's and master's degrees (VT, Norwich, Citadel, A&M, and North Georgia), North Georgia has the lowest percentage of graduate students at 3%. Of all 6 SMC's, VMI is the only "bachelor's only institution", like the SA's. Also like the SA's VMI is also the only all-cadet school of the SMC's. http://www.vmi.edu/news/headlines/2017-2018/statement-on-vmis-place-in-americas-future.php
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  15. NavyLady64

    NavyLady64 Member

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    You're totally correct Landy91 - I apologize - I was short circuiting my thoughts for convenience on the engineering. I meant to distinguish between doctoral (PhD) granting *engineering colleges* - which places VT and TAMU in a different ranking system than the others. Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  16. NavyLady64

    NavyLady64 Member

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    Actually - even better - they are tied for #14 on 2018 US News for Best Undergraduate Engineering programs *that grant doctoral degrees* (vs. Best Undergraduate Engineering programs - non-doctoral granting).
     
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