William Woods will be the only private university in the state to host program that trains and provides commissioned officers for the National Guard
William Woods University (WWU) President Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett joined Major General Stephen Danner, Adjutant General of the Missouri Army National Guard (MOARNG), local legislators and community leaders today in announcing the establishment of the Show-Me Guard Officer Leadership Development (Show-Me GOLD) program at William Woods. The university is launching the GOLD program, which is designed to provide a pathway for individuals interested in becoming officers in the MOARNG, during the fall 2018 semester.
William Woods thus becomes only the fourth university in the state to host the Show-Me GOLD program on its campus, the first private institution to do so and the only university that offers it in the central, north-central and eastern regions of Missouri. The other three are all larger, public universities in the state’s far corners (Northwest Missouri St., Missouri Southern St. and Southeast Missouri St.).
“We are honored to enter into this historic partnership with the Missouri Army National Guard to institute the prestigious Show-Me GOLD program at William Woods University,” said President Barnett. “It is a significant milestone for our university, and one that will allow us to add quality young men and women to our campus community while providing a new generation of leaders to the National Guard in the form of trained, commissioned officers.”
“We look forward to starting the Show-Me GOLD program at William Woods University, which will provide scholarships and a variety of educational opportunities for our citizen-soldiers,” said Major General Danner. “William Woods is an outstanding, military-friendly school that will allow our soldiers to graduate with a four-year degree and a commission in the Missouri Guard without any debt. We are confident in the future success of the GOLD program with WWU as our partner.”
Show-Me GOLD prepares candidates for the rigors and challenges they will face as commissioned officers in the Army National Guard. To be eligible, students must be a member of the Missouri Army National Guard and accepted to enroll at William Woods. Participants will attend military science classes during their freshman, sophomore and junior years at WWU, and attend an accelerated Officer Candidate School during the summer between their junior and senior years. When students graduate from William Woods, they will have a Bachelor’s Degree in their respective academic discipline, a Minor in Military Science and be commissioned officers in the MOARNG.
“This announcement serves as another prime example of our strength and vitality as a university,” said President Barnett. “While many other universities similar to us are facing very real debt and enrollment problems, we continue to buck the trend here at The Woods by adding new academic degree programs, such as Show-Me GOLD, Nursing and Cybersecurity, all in just the past year. We will always be committed to offering degree programs to students that make them in-demand by a wide range of employers.”
Since Dr. Barnett’s appointment as president in 1990, William Woods has seen tremendous growth as an institution. Total enrollment has increased from 750 to over 2,000 students; the university’s endowment has increased by nearly 250 percent; graduate-level, online, study abroad and new degree programs have been added; the university eliminated its long-term debt and has maintained an operating budget in the black for 15 straight years; and infrastructure and capitol improvements on the main campus in Fulton have included the construction of ten new major buildings.