Florida Polytechnic University (Florida Poly) announced last week a new way for students to earn their STEM degrees before serving as officers in the U.S. Navy.
The Florida Poly Nuclear Propulsion Pipeline Program is the first of its kind in the nation, and provides science-minded students with financial support and military guidance to enter the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and naval officer training. While students at other universities can apply to the U.S. Navy Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) Program, which begins in a student’s junior year, the Florida Poly program accepts students in their freshman year, providing a scholarship, training, and support.
“This is a unique opportunity– especially because our students are thoughtful innovators and scientists, who are brilliant and have a high sense of purpose,” said Dr. Ben Matthew Corpus, the vice provost of enrollment at Florida Poly. “Our collaboration is taking our mutual goals to the highest level of academic, military, and energy science.”
The Florida Poly program launched this semester and currently has 12 students. In the fall of 2021, students in the program will earn a $5,000 scholarship in their freshman and sophomore years. In the second term of their sophomore year, those chosen for the NUPOC program can receive $26,000 in compensation from the U.S. Navy. This increases to $53,000 for each of their junior and senior years. An additional $15,000 signing bonus is also possible.
Students in their junior year are also eligible for military healthcare and life insurance, and receive a military ID allowing them access to gym facilities and shopping at military bases.
“Florida Poly’s program is a reflection of the University’s commitment to providing tangible benefits to its students and graduates,” said Cmdr. Donovan Rivera, the commanding officer of Navy Talent Acquisition Group Miami. “It’s clear that Florida Poly wants to provide the greatest scope of relevant opportunities to its students – from more traditional career opportunities to challenging and unique opportunities within the military.”
Additionally, students in the Florida Poly program receive mentorship and support from peers and members of the military. The mentorship covers physical fitness and preparation, nutrition, career development and academic counseling, and Navy familiarization.