Virginia Tech has been selected by the Department of Defense (DOD) to participate in the inaugural year of the Defense Civilian Training Corps (DCTC).

“We are thrilled that Virginia Tech was selected as a pilot university for the DCTC program,”said Laura Freeman, deputy director of the Virginia Tech National Security Institute. “Virginia Tech has a very unique perspective as a senior military college with a diverse student body interested in government service and a long history of wide ranging research with the DOD across our academic departments. I am thankful that these qualities were clearly recognized in our selection as a pilot university.”

The new interdisciplinary program is open to any Virginia Tech student with an interest in national defense careers related to acquisition, digital technologies, critical technologies, science, engineering, and finance — particularly cadets in the Citizen-Leader Track of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. The program’s goal is to help students launch their careers by providing full tuition and scholarships, related coursework, and job placement within the Department of Defense upon graduation.

The first cohort of 30 Virignia Tech students is scheduled to begin this fall.

Assisting with such workforce development opportunities is what drew Freeman, also an associate dean for the College of Science and a research professor of statistics, to join Virginia Tech in 2019.

Virginia Tech is one of four universities that has been selected to participate in the pilot program. The others are North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Purdue University, and the University of Arizona.

"Students participating in DCTC programming will be selected because of a demonstrated passion for service and a recognition that service can come in many forms and  look very diverse,” said Ken Mallory, director for the Corps of Cadets’ Citizen-Leader Track. “This initial cohort will benefit immensely from this program because of the financial security and college affordability it provides for them to fulfill their passions.”

Within the university, the Defense Civilian Training Corps will be co-led by the Virginia Tech National Security Institute and the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, furthering their long-existing relationship.

"The Virginia Tech National Security Institute and the Corps of Cadets have collaborated since its inception and before that with the Hume Center,” said Capt. Jamie McGrath, director of the Corps of Cadets’ Maj Gen W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development. “Through the Senior Military College Cyber Institute and other National Security Institute and Hume Center programs, over 100 cadets a year benefit from scholarships, internships, research positions, conference attendance, and industry partnerships. Collaboration on developing the DCTC program is a natural extension of that sustained relationship.”