There are eight core components of the Mississippi ChalleNGe Academy curriculum. Cadets must successfully complete all eight components to graduate from the Academy. The core components are designed to educate and produce youth that will become productive members of the community upon graduation.
The eight core components are:
- Academic Excellence
- Life Coping Skills
- Job Skills
- Health and Hygiene
- Responsible Citizenship
- Service to the Community
- Physical Fitness
1. Academic Excellence GED Classes:
Classroom studies at the Academy are designed to enhance the cadet`s education skills and instill a desire to continue self-improvement. Classes are given in five areas that are tested on the General Education Development (GED) test. These include: math, science, social studies, literature and the arts, and writing skills/ essay. The Academy also uses The Adult Basic Education (TABE) test to evaluate educational performance and progress. Based upon successful completion of all eight core components and passing the GED test, the Director has the authority to award an Adult High School Diploma. Also, select students who pass the GED early may be allowed to take up to 15 college hours while attending the Academy.
2. Life Coping Skills:
Each cadet can begin to explore their value structure and come to a better understanding of the attitudes, needs and desires that motivate them as individuals, members of the Academy and as citizens. Included in this area are classes and workshops on: substance abuse, anger management, stress management, gender stereotyping, team building skills, parenting and budgeting.
3. Job Skills:
Cadets develop the basic skills necessary to conduct job searches as their position in the community changes. Goal planning is one of the many areas covered in this area. Cadets learn to complete a written resume, fill out employment applications and how to conduct themselves during an interview.
4. Health and Hygiene:
It is important that each cadet understand the positive correlation between good health and hygiene habits and life-long mental, physical and emotional well-being. Smoking Cessation classes, Nutrition and Sexual Responsibility are just a few of the topics covered in this area.
5. Responsible Citizenship:
This component helps each cadet to develop a better understanding of the forces that work to make a community strong and supportive of its members, as well as the forces that work to disintegrate a community. Cultural awareness, violence prevention, promoting justice and the honor code are discussed in this area.
6. Service to the Community:
In the Core Component of Service to the Community, cadets develop an understanding of the benefits gained through volunteering at community projects and agencies. Cadets volunteer many hours performing services for agencies such as the American Red Cross, and others. Certificates and awards are given to cadets for their participation.
Each cadet gains the skills necessary to be a good follower, a valued member of society, and gains exposure to the traits of good leaders so they may be prepared to lead when the opportunity arrives. Leadership Positions, Color Guard, Drill and Ceremonies, and Character Development are part of this curriculum.
8. Physical Fitness:
Cadets participate in a program of physical fitness training, which encourages a lifelong commitment to physical, mental and emotional well-being. Cadets must show improvement during the 22-week residential program. Activities include, but are not limited to: military style PT, running and organized sports.