If ROTC returns, should ROTC classes receive academic credit?

[![](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2011/02/hectoralejandro-300x199.jpg "hectoralejandro")](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2011/02/hectoralejandro.jpg)
If ROTC is allowed to return to Stanford, will students taking the courses receive credit from the University? (Photo: Hector Alejandro)
Stanford recently introduced a new pilot class for campus fraternity pledges to be taken during Spring quarter (it was formerly mandated, but that has been [changed](http://www.stanforddaily.com/2011/02/18/greek-pilot-course-will-be-optional/)). The course description states, “This course centers on alcohol issues from both a health and psychological perspective focusing on college alcohol issues and concerns.” Clearly the class, called Athletic 1, is considered nothing more than a physical education class that educates students in how to better care for their bodies.

It is relevant at this time to assess the nature of the way the University grants credit. Soon, Stanford may have to decide whether or not it will grant credit for ROTC classes that take place in an official Stanford program or satellite program, a decision process that will likely or at least should be similar to the process conducted for Athletic 1.

What qualifies a class to give credit? Obviously, the University considers the intellectual challenge of the class and the work involved. But for Athletic classes, it would seem that the University has little issue with granting credit for any class that provides physical or psychological education.

If the faculty senate votes for ROTC to return to campus, I cannot imagine why at least some of the ROTC classes would not receive at least one unit of credit. All of the Army ROTC classes contribute to personal development in some way. They focus on leadership and some also entail physical education. Because they are all very similar in content, there may be a concern with duplication of content. But there seems to be enough differentiation to justify granting credit for more than just one (check the list of Army ROTC classes here).

Further, the ROTC instructors are certainly as qualified to teach their subject matter as the health professionals from Vaden teaching Athletic 1. If the point in these 1-unit courses is not intellectual rigor but rather practical training, then one would expect the instructors to simply be experts in their profession, not necessarily to have a Ph.D. The military has a rather selective process of nominating the instructors, and Stanford would likely be able to veto selections if it does not approve.

Ultimately, considering the credit assigned to classes like Athletic 1, if ROTC classes do not receive at least some credit then there will have been a double standard applied. Even if it is just one unit, and just for the first few ROTC classes, the faculty senate will have little excuse to vote against granting at least minimal credit to ROTC classes if it votes for ROTC’s return.

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