John Tarleton Leadership Academy

The John Tarleton Leadership Academy (JTLA) is a leadership and character development initiative at Tarleton State University, designed to prepare individuals with marketable leadership-skills valued by business, government, and the military.  JTLA combines academic course work and real-world experiences to cultivate an individual’s leadership potential through three distinct, yet complementary programs, each focused on leadership and character development.  These programs include a living-learning community, known as the Texan Corps of Cadets; a leadership certificate program; and distinguished leader seminars. 

The foundation of JTLA is the Texan Corps of Cadets.  All Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC participants are members of the Corps of Cadets.  Additionally, all freshman and sophomore Cadets must enroll in Army or Air Force ROTC to maintain membership in the Corps.  Cadets who do not contract with a military service may apply to remain in the Corps of Cadets as Drill and Ceremony Cadets.  The Corps program is a leadership-based, living-learning community open to all undergraduate students.  Cadets may complete a minor in Leadership Studies. 

Students at Tarleton who are not participating in the Corps of Cadets, but still interested in leadership may obtain a certificate in leadership studies or continuing education units.  These additional options are provided for both undergraduate and graduate students. 

The Academy offers the Distinguished Leader Program via speaker seminars using two formats, a distinguished leader series and “TEXAN Leaders of Today.”  The programs feature state and nationally-known speakers, including Tarleton alumni, with a focus on topics of leadership and character in the context of professional experiences.  

Finally, JTLA promotes and facilitates internships for all participating Student-Cadets, with opportunities in the private sector, government agencies and the military.  Through internships, the private and public workplaces seek deliberate chances to evaluate potential new hires.  Typically, the first opportunity to intern occurs after the sophomore year, with a follow-on opportunity after the junior year.  Ultimately, the internship enhances the opportunity for post-graduation employment.  For employers, the program provides both a nonbinding short-term evaluation opportunity and an early opportunity to identify potential fulltime employees. 

JTLA is designed to promote student success; to become critical thinkers, communicators, problem solvers, and to accept social responsibility.  The resulting leadership development will provide students a perspective highly sought after by employers and will provide Tarleton graduates a distinct, competitive advantage in the job market.  The overarching goal of the program is to provide students and faculty unique access to highly effective, successful leaders and to inspire a life-long pursuit of service and excellence.

The Corps of Cadets is organized as an academic unit and the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (Provost) has overall responsibility for academic affairs and regulation of the Corps as a learning community.  The Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA) is responsible to the Provost for academic affairs related to the Corps.

The Senior Director of Strategic Studies (John Tarleton Leadership Academy) is responsible for the implementation of the Operations Manual.  The Senior Director oversees Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs at Tarleton through the departments of Military Science and Aerospace Studies (via crosstown agreement) and the Department of Leadership and Strategic Studies.  Each ROTC department has its own chair and staff, and is run independently according to the needs and administration of the service branch. 

The Commandant of Cadets (Commandant) is responsible to the President of the University for the total military program at the institution, its administration, discipline, and welfare and is the commander of his/her staff and all cadets. The Commandant is responsible for all University-sponsored cadet activities.