Frequently Asked Questions
1. What ages do you accept?
Applicants must be between 16 and 18 years of age on the start date. Cadets may turn 19 after starting the Program.
2. What is the cost to Candidates or Parents?
Candidates and Parents are not required to pay tuition or any other cost associated with the program. The course is free to those accepted, however some personal and clothing items may need to be purchased.
3. When can I visit my Cadets?
There are no on-site visitations throughout the residential phase of the program; however, there are two scheduled weekends of family day and a mandatory leave for Cadets. Cadets are not permitted to stay at the Academy during leave weekend.
4. What ways may I communicate with my cadet?
It is important to write friendly and encouraging letters at least every week. Have brothers, sisters and any other family members write as well. Calling here to request to talk with your child is not permitted.
5. The program is a drug-free, but what if I’m taking a prescription medication?
Any type of illegal drug use is prohibited. Medication directed by a physician, prescription and over the counter, must have a doctor’s written order to be used while attending the Academy. All medications are secured. Medications do not prohibit you from attending TCA.
6. What is the hardest part of the program?
The first few weeks at the Academy are the hardest. There are numerous changes: your environment, your diet, your sleep, your physical condition, and your attitude, you’re learning to share a room. Your bay with about 60 other cadets. Shorter Shower time than what your used too.
7. Do the females Cadets have an easier program?
The program is consistent for all Cadets. The Academy provides separate living areas for male and female Cadets. Platoons and Educational Classes are separate from males. No romantic relationships are permitted or tolerated among the Cadets. (Females say it’s harder for them because they have so many male Cadets to put up with.)
8. Is the parent’s legal guardian’s employment salary a disqualifications for the candidate enrollment?
No, the parent or legal guardian’s salary is not a factor for the candidate enrollment qualification process.
9. What happens if my child gets injured while attending the Academy?
All injured cadets are brought to the medical section by the Academy staff/Cadre member where they are assessed and evaluated. Injuries that can be treated within the scope of practice of the medical section are treated and the cadet is returned to their daily activity. Injuries requiring immediate medical attention beyond the scope of care of our medical section are transported to the local civilian doctor/hospital. Parents/guardians are notified when a cadet is transported to the local civilian hospital.
10. Why are physical required during their stay at the Academy?
All cadets require physical examination by a licensed physician to ensure all cadets at the Academy in a healthy state. The rigors of Academy life are many and healthy cadet has a greater chance of successful completion. Additionally a physical examination may disclose a previously undiagnosed medical condition which may require special attention or medication.
11. Why do you need copies of my medical/dental/pharmacy insurance cards?
When care is required beyond the scope of practice of the Academy medical facility cadets are transported to the local civilian hospital for treatment. Proof of medical insurance as evidenced by copy you provide to us assists the treating hospital in providing timely care for your child. All co-pays required by your private insurance remains Parent/Guardian responsibility.
12. Is there an orientation for applicants and Parents/Guardians to attend?
Yes. Once when we have your application a notice will be sent to you at least two weeks before Orientation.
13. Do the cadets wear uniforms?
Yes. Uniform are supplied by the academy. If accepted a list will be attached on what the cadets should bring with them. No more than what’s on the list all other items will be given back to the parents to take home.
14. Does the school have a wellness program for the cadets?
Yes. The Academy recognizes the importance of nutritional education, physical activity and related educational activities.
15. When does the next class start?
Tarheel Challenge Academy holds two class a year. One start in January and the other in July.
16. Can I smoke at the Academy?
No. Cadets are prohibited from using any tobacco products while attending TCA. Parents or guest will not be allowed to smoke on premises also.
17. Does my youth have to join the military if he/she attends this program?
NO. Although we are a National Guard program no youth will be pressured or suggested to enlist in any branch of the military. Historically only about 10% of the Academy cadets graduates decide to join the military, most seek continued education or enter the workforce.
18. Can the applicant be on probation and still attend the program?
YES. Qualified applicants can be on probation, but only for juvenile offenses. Applicants cannot have a future court hearings that take place during the residential phase of the program. You may be able to work out an arrangement with the D.A., Judge, or Juvenile Service Worker. They are familiar with our program, but that is strictly between you and the court system. Please contact RPM Manager for clarification.
19. Can I have a cell phone or other electronics?
NO. Cadets can’t have cell phones or other electronics while attending the Academy. This also includes any type of Flash Drives, USB sticks, IPOD, CD Music, or videos.
20. What is the standard for hair?
MALE: Military short haircut. FEMALES: Off the collar of uniform or pulled back from face in a ponytail or bun so the cap is worn correctly. No make-up at all or body piercing.
21. Will I be able to go to church?
Yes. Nondenominational Chapel service are held on Sundays and bible study are held on Wednesdays. Attendance is voluntary.
22. What time must I go to bed and get up every day?
Wake-up call is 5:30 AM and Bed Time is 9:30 PM daily.
23. Will I be allowed to make phone calls?
Each team have two days for their team to make calls and you will know which days they are.
Usually team 1 does theirs on Sundays. Team two has theirs Mondays and Tuesdays. Team 3 has theirs on Thursday and Friday. The First phone call is mandatory after that it’s a privilege and they could lose it for that week.
24. Will I be allowed to attend if I have children?
Yes. But care of your children during school attendance (5-month residential) will be student responsibility.
25. What happens when I leave campus and I come back late?
Any time when you leave campus for whatever reason there will be an inspection and drug testing to ensure you have not brought back anything you were not supposed to. If alcohol is detected you could be eliminated from the program. Back late you could be subject for discipline its part of responsibility.