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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements to enroll?
Tennessee residents between the ages of 16 and 18 are eligible to apply to Tennessee Volunteer Challenge Academy. Applicants must be willing to participate of their own free will; they should have a strong desire to complete a structured and disciplined program.  Each participant is required to have a mentor throughout the program.  All applicants must attend an orientation and interview to qualify.


Where is TNVCA located and when does the program start?
TNVCA is located in Nashville, TN. There are two classes per year, and is open to applicants throughout the state.  TNVCA begin classes every January and July.


Are graduates obligated to join the military?
No. Although TNVCA is administered by The Tennessee National Guard, cadets are not required to join the military. All cadets take the ASVAB, and interested graduates that meet specific eligibility qualifications and requirements may enlist in the military branch of their choice.


What educational opportunities are there for Cadets? 
During the 5 ½ month Residential Phase, cadets attend class daily with instructors and work hard to increase their academic skills.  Cadets have the opportunity to test for the HiSet or earn their High School Diploma. 


Is this a boot camp?
No. TNVCA is a quasi-military style, alternative education program. Applicants cannot be sentenced or court ordered to attend. The decision to attend is voluntary and should be made by the applicant and family. Each year, a diverse group of teenagers from all across the United States (and territories) successfully complete one of the National Guard Youth Challenge Programs. 


When can I visit my cadet?
During the 5 ½ month Residential Phase, there is an opportunity for cadets to visit with family and friends during one Family Day Event and pre-determined Corps breaks. Otherwise, cadets will correspond with family and friends through letter writing, and phone calls periodically throughout the program.


How much does the program cost?
There is no tuition associated with the program. All uniforms, meals, education, and housing costs are provided free of charge!