Patriotic Education Travel Program
In 2009, College of the Ozarks began the Patriotic Education Travel Program, designed to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences for students and veterans from World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The program pairs College of the Ozarks students with the veterans, taking them back to the battlefields where they fought. This program honors veterans and helps educate the younger generation, instilling an appreciation for the sacrifices of American soldiers.
The College recognizes these trips as a powerful opportunity to reinforce one of the five goals of the College: patriotic education. The rich educational journey provides a life-changing experience for College of the Ozarks students, who not only learn volumes of history from the firsthand participants but grow to love and appreciate them as well. Participating students return with renewed respect for veterans and a dramatically increased love for their country.
Travel destinations have included England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany to visit sites from D-Day, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and Berlin, as well as Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, Hiroshima, Iwo Jima, and Tokyo, the Philippines, Guadalcanal, and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Theatre. A special Holocaust trip took students, veterans, and Holocaust survivors to Germany, Poland, Austria, the Slovak Republic, and the Czech Republic. Other trips include China, focusing on the Cold War; Korea; and, most recently, Vietnam.
Students are selected from a pool of applicants who submit essays describing their desire to learn from the veterans. The highly competitive process has produced student-veteran pairings who share not only experiences, but more importantly, a bond between two very different generations that is cherished by both.
The Patriotic Education Travel Program is funded completely by College of the Ozarks and generous donors, allowing students and veterans to travel at no personal cost. For more information about participation or support of the Patriotic Education Travel Program, please contact the Character Education Office at (417) 690-2242.
A special orientation prior to the beginning of each semester called Character Camp introduces all new students to character development and how vital it is to their success at College of the Ozarks and after college. Two upperclassmen serve as "Mom and Pop" to each small group of incoming students. They spend ten days with their "family" teaching them about the expectations of the College, locating buildings, how to use services on-campus, and visiting their work stations.
Laws of Life
In 1987, Sir John Templeton initiated the Laws of Life Essay Contest in his hometown of Winchester, Tennessee. Through the contest, students are encouraged to search deep within themselves and write about their own "laws of life." Organizations concerned with the moral ideals of youth may sponsor a contest, and College of the Ozarks is proud to do so. Each semester, entering freshmen participate in the contest during Character Camp. The student authors of the winning essays receive book scholarships from the College and the John Templeton Foundation.
The Frances C. Berger Citizens Abroad Program
As an enrichment of the classroom experience, students have the opportunity to study in other cultures. They can experience first-hand how good citizenship impacts our world. The program aims to provide students with an awareness of the world while fostering an appreciation of America and what it represents.
It was the philanthropic desire of the late H.N. and Frances C. Berger to help young men and women, and the foundation continues to operate under this philosophy, as evidenced through its generous contribution to the Citizens Abroad Program. The goal is to give as many students as possible the opportunity to have a travel abroad experience. Recent trips abroad have included Rwanda, London and Oxford, Spain, China, France, and The Netherlands.