Cadets must successfully complete all eight core components to graduate from the Academy. The core components are designed to educate and help produce youth who will become productive members of their communities upon graduation. Following are the eight core components:
Classroom studies at the Academy are designed to enhance cadets' educational skills and instill a desire to continue self-improvement. Classes are given in four areas that are tested on the General Education Development (GED) test. These include: Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts / essay. The Academy uses The Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to evaluate educational performance and progress.
Each cadet can begin to explore their value structures 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, team building skills, parenting and budgeting.
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 component. Cadets learn to complete a written resume, fill out employment applications and how to present themselves for an interview.
It is important that each cadet understands the positive correlation between good health and hygiene habits and life-long mental, physical and emotional well-being. Nutrition and Sexual Responsibility are just a couple of the topics covered in this area.
This component helps each cadet 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.
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, NJ Blood Council, Allaire State Park, Fort Mifflin, Habitat for Humanity, the local Ft. Dix community 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.
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.