SIE Professor Larry Head is the principal investigator of the University of Arizona section of a new Department of Defense pilot program. UA is one of four universities selected to pilot the Defense Civilian Training Corps program to prepare students for civilian careers in the Department of Defense.
The program will provide students with tuition and fees reimbursement, a $2,000 monthly living stipend, paid summer internship with the Department of Defense and employment with the department upon graduation.
The UA was chosen alongside Purdue University, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to host pilot programs for the Defense Civilian Training Corps. Across the four universities, the two-year pilot program will consist of approximately 80 students set to graduate in spring 2025. Undergraduate students across all majors can apply, but those studying business, engineering, finance, public policy and computer science will find the most opportunity to apply their schoolwork to the program.
"The University of Arizona has a very diverse student population, and we want to make sure that they have access to all kinds of career opportunities," Head said. "This program is a really unique opportunity for students to serve our country in our national security and defense, without being in the military."
In the summer of 2024, students in the program will be placed in internships with Department of Defense labs and partners, and they will be given real-world scenarios to assess.
"Let's imagine that we have a business student, a public policy student and an engineering student – they may go to an Air Force base, who would give them a project," Head said. "The base would tell them, for example, they're looking to acquire a new software system and ask the students to investigate the requirements of the system, who the providers are, what policies are in effect, what the cost estimate and timeline would be – and then plan out the project."