oversight

Military Education: DOD Needs to Align Academy Preparatory Schools' Mission Statements with Overall Guidance and Establish Performance Goals

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-09-10.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to the Subcommittee on
                 Defense, Committee on Appropriations,
                 House of Representatives


September 2003
                 MILITARY
                 EDUCATION
                 DOD Needs to Align
                 Academy Preparatory
                 Schools' Mission
                 Statements with
                 Overall Guidance and
                 Establish Performance
                 Goals




GAO-03-1017
                                                September 2003


                                                MILITARY EDUCATION

                                                DOD Needs to Align Academy
Highlights of GAO-03-1017, a report to the      Preparatory Schools’ Mission Statements
Subcommittee on Defense, Committee on
Appropriations, House of Representatives        with Overall Guidance and Establish
                                                Performance Goals


Each year, the U.S. Air Force                   The three service academy preparatory schools’ current mission statements
Academy, the U.S. Military                      do not clearly articulate the purpose for which the schools are being used by
Academy, and the U.S. Naval                     their respective service academies. In accordance with DOD guidance and
Academy combined spend tens of                  the service academies’ expectations, the preparatory schools give primary
millions of dollars to operate                  consideration for enrollment to enlisted personnel, minorities, women, and
preparatory schools that provide an
alternative avenue for about 700
                                                recruited athletes. However, the preparatory school mission statements are
students annually to gain admission             not clearly aligned with DOD guidance and the academies’ expectations.
to the service academies. Service               This is a continuing problem, which GAO first reported in 1992. Without
academy officials screen all                    clear mission statements, the service academies and their respective
applicants to identify those who                preparatory schools cannot establish goals that fully reflect the preparatory
they believe could succeed at the               schools’ intended purpose.
academies but who would benefit
from more preparation. The                      It is difficult to evaluate how effective the preparatory schools have been in
Department of Defense (DOD) pays                accomplishing their missions because the service academies have not
the full cost of providing this                 established performance goals for the preparatory schools. Without specific
preparation. GAO was asked to                   performance goals, there is no objective yardstick against which to gauge
review the three service academy
preparatory schools, and this
                                                preparatory school effectiveness, as would be consistent with the principle
report specifically assesses (1) the            of best practices for ensuring optimal return on investment.
adequacy of their current mission
statements, (2) the effectiveness of            The effectiveness of DOD, military service, and service academy oversight is
these schools in accomplishing                  limited because the existing oversight framework for assessing preparatory
their missions, and (3) the                     school performance does not include performance goals and measures
effectiveness of DOD oversight of               against which to objectively assess performance. DOD and the services
these schools.                                  receive annual reports from the academies on preparatory school
                                                performance. Without stated performance goals and measures, however, the
                                                reports do not offer DOD, the services, or the service academies as good an
GAO recommends that the                         insight into the preparatory schools’ performance and their return on
Secretary of Defense direct DOD,                investment as they could.
in concert with the services and the
service academies, to align the                 Academy Preparatory School Operating Costs and Cost Per Graduate, Fiscal Years
preparatory schools’ mission                    1999-2002
statements with DOD guidance and
the academies’ expectations;                    Academy preparatory     Cost
                                                school                  category      FY 1999      FY 2000      FY 2001          FY 2002
establish quantified performance
                                                U.S. Air Force          Total
goals and measures for the schools;             Academy Preparatory     operating
and enhance the existing oversight              School                  costs       $6,381,169   $5,385,619   $5,628,625   $5,459,059
framework for assessing the                                             Cost per
schools’ performance. In                                                graduate        36,673       32,057       30,425          30,842
commenting on a draft of this                   U.S. Military Academy   Total
                                                Preparatory School      operating
report, DOD agreed with the                                             costs        6,544,277    6,993,648    7,087,020    7,325,311
recommendations.                                                        Cost per
                                                                        graduate        34,263       35,144       38,727          41,859
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-1017.         U.S. Naval Academy      Total
                                                Preparatory School      operating
To view the full product, including the scope
                                                                        costs        7,212,997    8,136,649    8,549,809    9,395,421
and methodology, click on the link above.
                                                                        Cost per
For more information, contact Derek B.
                                                                        graduate        35,015       43,982       42,117          40,850
Stewart at (202) 512-5559 or
stewartd@gao.gov.                               Source: DOD.
Contents


Letter                                                                                 1
               Results in Brief                                                        2
               Background                                                              4
               Preparatory School Missions Are Not Clearly Defined                     8
               Preparatory Schools Maintain Performance Data, but Mission
                 Effectiveness Is Difficult to Evaluate                              12
               DOD Lacks a Complete Framework to Facilitate More Effective
                 Oversight of the Preparatory Schools                                17
               Conclusions                                                           18
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                  18
               Agency Comments                                                       19

Appendix I     Scope and Methodology                                                 20



Appendix II    General Information about the Three Service
               Academy Preparatory Schools                                           22



Appendix III   Preparatory School Enrollment                                         23



Appendix IV    Students Who Entered the Preparatory Schools and
               Graduated from or Are Still Attending the Academies 26


Appendix V     Students Who Entered the Preparatory Schools and
               Graduated from the Preparatory Schools                                32



Appendix VI    Students Who Graduated from the Preparatory Schools
               and Accepted Appointments to the Academies         38




               Page i                                     GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Appendix VII    Academy Graduation Rates for Preparatory School
                Graduates Versus Direct Appointees                                       44



Appendix VIII   Comments from the Department of Defense                                  47



Appendix IX     GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                    49



Tables
                Table 1: Demographics for Preparatory Schools, Class of 2002               6
                Table 2: Service Academy Preparatory School Operating Costs and
                         Cost per Graduate, Fiscal Years 1999-2002                         7
                Table 3: Preparatory School Mission Statements                             9


Figures
                Figure 1: Service Academies’ Preparatory School Locations                  5
                Figure 2: Average Preparatory School Enrollment, by Target
                         Group, for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993
                         through 2002                                                    10
                Figure 3: Average Service Academy Target Group Enrollment, by
                         Academy Preparatory School, for Preparatory School
                         Academic Years 1993 through 2002                                11
                Figure 4: Average Number of Students Admitted to the Preparatory
                         Schools and Graduating from or Still Attending an
                         Academy for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993
                         through 2002                                                    13
                Figure 5: Comparison between Academy Grade Point Averages of
                         Preparatory School Graduates and of Academy Student
                         Bodies as a Whole for the Academy Class of 2002                 15
                Figure 6: Comparison between Average Academy Graduation Rates
                         of Preparatory School Graduates and of Direct
                         Appointees for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993
                         through 1998                                                    16
                Figure 7: Percentage of Total Enrollment, by Target Groups, at the
                         U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School for
                         Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002             23



                Page ii                                       GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Figure 8: Percentage of Total Enrollment, by Target Groups, at the
         U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory
         School Academic Years 1993 through 2002                         24
Figure 9: Percentage of Total Enrollment, by Target Groups, at the
         U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory
         School Academic Years 1993 through 2002                         25
Figure 10: Percentage of Total U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory
         School Enrollment Graduating from or Still Attending the
         U.S. Air Force Academy for Preparatory School Academic
         Years 1993 through 2002                                         26
Figure 11: Percentage of Four Target Groups Entering the U.S. Air
         Force Academy Preparatory School and Graduating from
         or Still Attending the U.S. Air Force Academy for
         Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002             27
Figure 12: Percentage of Total U.S. Military Academy Preparatory
         School Enrollment Graduating from or Still Attending the
         U.S. Military Academy for Preparatory School Academic
         Years 1993 through 2002                                         28
Figure 13: Percentage of Four Target Groups Entering the U.S.
         Military Academy Preparatory School and Graduating
         from or Still Attending the U.S. Military Academy for
         Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002             29
Figure 14: Percentage of Total U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory
         School Enrollment Graduating from or Still Attending the
         U.S. Naval Academy for Preparatory School Academic
         Years 1993 through 2002                                         30
Figure 15: Percentage of Four Target Groups Entering the U.S.
         Naval Academy Preparatory School and Graduating from
         or Still Attending the U.S. Naval Academy for Preparatory
         School Academic Years 1993 through 2002                         31
Figure 16: Percentage of Students Graduating from the U.S. Air
         Force Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory
         School Academic Years 1993 through 2002                         32
Figure 17: Percentage of Four Target Groups Graduating from the
         U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School for
         Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002             33
Figure 18: Percentage of Students Graduating from the U.S.
         Military Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory
         School Academic Years 1993 through 2002                         34
Figure 19: Percentage of Four Target Groups Graduating from the
         U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory
         School Academic Years 1993 through 2002                         35



Page iii                                      GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Figure 20: Percentage of Students Graduating from the U.S. Naval
         Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory School
         Academic Years 1993 through 2002                               36
Figure 21: Percentage of Four Target Groups Graduating from the
         U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory
         School Academic Years 1993 through 2002                        37
Figure 22: Percentage of U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory
         School Graduates Accepting U.S. Air Force Academy
         Appointments for Preparatory School Academic Years
         1993 through 2002                                              38
Figure 23: Percentage of Four Target Groups of U.S. Air Force
         Academy Preparatory School Graduates Accepting U.S.
         Air Force Academy Appointments for Preparatory School
         Academic Years 1993 through 2002                               39
Figure 24: Percentage of U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School
         Graduates Accepting U.S. Military Academy
         Appointments for Preparatory School Academic Years
         1993 through 2002                                              40
Figure 25: Percentage of Four Target Groups of U.S. Military
         Academy Preparatory School Graduates Accepting U.S.
         Military Academy Appointments for Preparatory School
         Academic Years 1993 through 2002                               41
Figure 26: Percentage of U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School
         Graduates Accepting U.S. Naval Academy Appointments
         for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002        42
Figure 27: Percentage of Four Target Groups of U.S. Naval
         Academy Preparatory School Graduates Accepting U.S.
         Naval Academy Appointments for Preparatory School
         Academic Years 1993 through 2002                               43
Figure 28: Comparative U.S. Air Force Academy Graduation Rates
         for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 1998        44
Figure 29: Comparative U.S. Military Academy Graduation Rates
         for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 1998        45
Figure 30: Comparative U.S. Naval Academy Graduation Rates for
         Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 1998            46




Page iv                                      GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Abbreviations

DOD               Department of Defense
GAO               General Accounting Office
OUSD/P&R          Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel
                   and Readiness



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Page v                                                  GAO-03-1017 Military Education
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   September 10, 2003

                                   The Honorable Jerry Lewis
                                   Chairman
                                   The Honorable John P. Murtha
                                   Ranking Minority Member
                                   Subcommittee on Defense
                                   Committee on Appropriations
                                   House of Representatives

                                   The U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S.
                                   Naval Academy combined spend tens of millions of dollars each year to
                                   operate service academy preparatory schools, preparing about 700
                                   students for admission to the service academies. The service academies
                                   are one of several sources of newly commissioned officers, and they are
                                   solely responsible for sending students to the academy preparatory
                                   schools. The service academies receive more than 10,000 applications
                                   each year. Academy admissions officials screen all applicants and identify
                                   those who they believe could succeed at the academies but who would
                                   benefit from more preparation. The preparatory schools provide an
                                   alternative avenue for these applicants to gain admission to the academies.
                                   The Department of Defense (DOD) pays the full cost of providing
                                   academic preparation, military orientation, and physical conditioning. In
                                   fiscal year 2002, DOD reported that costs per graduate for the U.S. Air
                                   Force Academy Preparatory School, the U.S. Military Academy
                                   Preparatory School, and the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School were
                                   $30,842, $41,859, and $40,850, respectively.

                                   The House report on defense appropriations for fiscal year 2003 directed
                                   that we review the three service academies and their preparatory schools.1
                                   As part of our review of the service academies, we reviewed DOD
                                   oversight and admissions issues at all three service academies. We also
                                   surveyed all students and faculty at the three academies to obtain their
                                   perceptions of various aspects of student life at the academies. Based on
                                   our review of the service academies, we recommended that the Secretary
                                   of Defense, in concert with the services, enhance performance goals and
                                   measures to improve oversight of the academies’ operations and


                                   1
                                       H.R. Rept. 107-532, at 14-15 (2002).



                                   Page 1                                         GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                   performance. These issues are addressed in separate reports.2 This report
                   addresses our review of all three service academy preparatory schools. As
                   agreed with your offices, we assessed (1) the adequacy of the current
                   mission statements of the preparatory schools, (2) the effectiveness of the
                   preparatory schools in accomplishing their missions, and (3) the
                   effectiveness of DOD oversight of the preparatory schools.

                   In addition to interviewing officials at all three preparatory schools, the
                   academies, the service headquarters, and DOD’s Office of the Under
                   Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD/P&R), we
                   reviewed the adequacy of the preparatory schools’ mission statements and
                   pertinent DOD guidance. To assess the effectiveness of the preparatory
                   schools in accomplishing their missions, we analyzed aggregate
                   preparatory school performance data for preparatory school academic
                   years 1993 through 2002 for four target groups of students common to all
                   preparatory schools: (1) enlisted personnel, (2) minorities, (3) recruited
                   athletes, and (4) women. Our analysis included preparatory school
                   admissions and graduation data for each target group. We also reviewed
                   DOD guidance on oversight roles, responsibilities, and reporting
                   requirements, as well as academy regulations and instructions. We
                   conducted our review between February and July 2003. Further details on
                   our scope and methodology are in appendix I.


                   The three preparatory schools’ current mission statements do not clearly
Results in Brief   articulate the purpose for which the schools are being used by their
                   respective service academies. This lack of clarity in mission statements is
                   a continuing problem, which we first reported on in 1992.3 Although the
                   three preparatory schools exist to help the service academies meet their




                   2
                    U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Education: DOD Needs to Enhance
                   Performance Goals and Measures to Improve Oversight of Military Academies,
                   GAO-03-1000 (Washington, D.C.: September 2003) and Military Education: Student and
                   Faculty Perceptions of Student Life at the Military Academies, GAO-03-1001 (Washington,
                   D.C.: September 2003).
                   3
                    U.S. General Accounting Office, DOD Service Academies: Academy Preparatory Schools
                   Need a Clearer Mission and Better Oversight, GAO/NSIAD-92-57 (Washington, D.C.: Mar.
                   13, 1992).




                   Page 2                                                GAO-03-1017 Military Education
diversity needs,4 their mission statements simply refer to preparing
“selected personnel who meet special needs,” “selected candidates,” or
“candidates” for admission to and success at the service academies. These
mission statements are not clearly aligned with DOD guidance, which
states that primary consideration for preparatory school enrollment shall
be accorded to nominees to fill officer objectives for three target groups:
(1) enlisted personnel, (2) minorities, and (3) women.5 Senior service
academy officials told us that their expectations of the preparatory
schools to provide students in these three groups are consistent with DOD
guidance, and that they also rely on the preparatory schools to meet their
needs for a fourth group—recruited athletes. Without clear mission
statements, the service academies and their respective preparatory
schools cannot establish performance goals that fully reflect the
preparatory schools’ intended purpose.

It is difficult to evaluate how effective the preparatory schools have been
in accomplishing their missions because the service academies have not
established performance goals for their preparatory schools. The
preparatory schools collect a substantial amount of performance data for
the four target groups. However, without specific performance goals, the
service academies do not have an objective yardstick against which to
gauge preparatory school effectiveness, as would be consistent with the
principle of best practices for ensuring optimal return on investment.

The effectiveness of DOD, military service, and service academy oversight
is limited because the existing oversight framework for assessing
preparatory school performance does not include performance goals and
measures. DOD, the services, and the service academies largely conduct
oversight activities without the benefit of quantified performance goals
and measures to assess how well the preparatory schools are preparing
targeted groups of students for admission to and success at the service
academies. DOD and the services receive annual reports from the
academies—which have direct oversight responsibility for the preparatory
schools—on preparatory school performance. While the data within these



4
 Preparatory school officials define the word “diversity” to be inclusive of enlisted
personnel, minorities, recruited athletes, and women. Senior academy officials stated that
they do not need to target women for enrollment at the preparatory schools, but they
continue to do so in order to provide an environment comparable to the environment that
students will encounter at the academies.
5
    Department of Defense, Directive 1322.22, Service Academies, § 4.9.2, August 24, 1994.




Page 3                                                      GAO-03-1017 Military Education
             reports provide perspective on current performance compared with past
             performance, without stated performance goals and measures, these data
             do not offer DOD, the services, or the service academies as good an insight
             into the preparatory schools’ performance and return on investment as
             they could. For example, the data reported by the preparatory schools
             show that fewer than 60 percent of the students who were admitted to the
             preparatory schools during the past 10 years graduated from or are still
             attending the academies; however, there is no stated goal for graduation
             rates against which to assess this rate. Other data reported by the
             preparatory schools show that the percentage of students in the target
             groups admitted to the preparatory schools has varied over the past
             10 years; however, there are no stated goals against which to measure the
             adequacy of these admission trends.

             This report contains recommendations that DOD, in concert with the
             service headquarters and service academies, clarify the preparatory
             schools’ mission statements by aligning these statements with the
             department’s directive and the service academies’ expectations that target
             student groups for primary enrollment consideration; establish quantified
             performance goals and measures, linked with the schools’ mission
             statements; and enhance the existing oversight framework by using
             quantified performance goals and measures to objectively evaluate the
             performance of the preparatory schools. In commenting on a draft of this
             report, DOD concurred with our recommendations.


             Each service academy operates its own preparatory school. The U.S. Air
Background   Force Academy Preparatory School is co-located with the U.S. Air Force
             Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The U.S. Military Academy
             Preparatory School is located at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and the U.S.
             Naval Academy Preparatory School is located in Newport, Rhode Island. 6
             (See fig 1.)




             6
              In addition to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, some students attending
             the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School also go on to attend the U.S. Coast Guard
             Academy in New London, Connecticut, or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings
             Point, New York.




             Page 4                                                  GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Figure 1: Service Academies’ Preparatory School Locations




                                       During World War I, the Secretaries of the Army and the Navy nominated
                                       enlisted personnel to their respective service academies. Many of the first
                                       enlisted personnel did poorly on service academy entrance examinations,
                                       and many of the slots that were created for them went unfilled. To coach
                                       enlisted nominees for service academy entrance examinations, Army and
                                       Navy officials formally established the Military Academy and Naval
                                       Academy preparatory schools in 1946 and 1920, respectively. (The U.S. Air
                                       Force Academy was created in 1954, and its preparatory school in 1961.)
                                       The preparatory schools have evolved over the years and become more
                                       diverse. Today, the student bodies of these schools consist of enlisted
                                       personnel, minorities, recruited athletes, and women (see table 1).




                                       Page 5                                         GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Table 1: Demographics for Preparatory Schools, Class of 2002

                                         U.S. Air Force       U.S. Military       U.S. Naval
                                              Academy           Academy            Academy
                                    Preparatory School Preparatory School Preparatory School
    Total enrollment                              225                    227                          315
    Enlisted personnel                             43                      56                          96
    Minorities                                    111                    104                          173
    Recruited athletes                             90                      59                          87
    Women                                          40                      41                          47
Source: GAO analysis of DOD data.

Notes: The population target groups are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, the sum of enrollment
figures provided by target group will be greater than the total enrollment figure provided for each
preparatory school.

Preparatory school classes of 2002 should graduate from the academies in 2006.


To be admitted to a preparatory school, an applicant must meet basic
eligibility requirements. Because applicants to the academies must (1) be
unmarried, (2) be a U.S. citizen, (3) be at least 17 years of age and must not
have passed their twenty-third birthday on July 1 of the year they enter an
academy, (4) have no dependents, and (5) be of good moral character, the
preparatory schools apply the same requirements.7

The preparatory schools do not charge for tuition. The enlisted personnel
who are selected to attend the preparatory schools are reassigned to the
preparatory schools as their duty stations, and these enlisted personnel
continue to be paid at the grades they earned before enrolling. Civilians
who are selected to attend the preparatory schools enlist in the reserves
and are paid about $700 per month. Enlisted personnel must complete
their military obligations if they do not complete the programs or go on to
one of the academies. Civilian students do not incur any financial or
further military obligation if they do not complete the programs or go on
to one of the academies. However, they also do not accrue any
transferable college credits while attending the preparatory schools.

The preparatory schools offer a 10-month course of instruction that
combines academic instruction, physical conditioning, and an orientation
to military life. The daily schedule includes several hours of classroom
instruction, mandatory study time, and extra instruction; time for athletics


7
    10 U.S.C. §§ 4346, 6958, and 9346; and DOD Directive 1322.22 § 4.3.




Page 6                                                           GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                        or physical training; and some instruction in military customs and
                                        practices. Emphasis is placed on giving each candidate as much tutorial
                                        assistance as is necessary to maximize the individual’s potential for
                                        success. The student body at each school is organized into a military unit
                                        with a student chain of command that is advised by commissioned and
                                        noncommissioned officers. This structure is intended to provide the
                                        students with exposure to military discipline and order.

                                        In fiscal year 2002, DOD reported that the total cost to operate all three
                                        preparatory schools was about $22 million (see table 2). We did not
                                        independently verify or evaluate these costs.

Table 2: Service Academy Preparatory School Operating Costs and Cost per Graduate, Fiscal Years 1999-2002

 Academy preparatory
 school                      Cost category                          FY 1999           FY 2000         FY 2001          FY 2002
 U.S. Air Force Academy      Total operating costs                $6,381,169        $5,385,619     $5,628,625       $5,459,059
 Preparatory School
                             Cost per graduate                        36,673           32,057          30,425           30,842
 U.S. Military Academy       Total operating costs                 6,544,277         6,993,648       7,087,020        7,325,311
 Preparatory School          Cost per graduate                        34,263           35,144          38,727           41,859
 U.S. Naval Academy          Total operating costs                 7,212,997         8,136,649       8,549,809        9,395,421
 Preparatory School
                             Cost per graduate                        35,015           43,982          42,117           40,850
Source: DOD.



                                        OUSD/P&R, the service headquarters, and the service academies have
                                        established clear roles and responsibilities for oversight of the preparatory
                                        schools. According to DOD Directive 1322.22 (Service Academies), the
                                        Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness has
                                        responsibility to assess the operations and establish policy and guidance
                                        for uniform oversight and management of the service academies and their
                                        preparatory schools.8 The service headquarters perform their oversight
                                        over their respective academies and preparatory schools in accordance
                                        with the directive. The superintendent of each academy reports directly to
                                        the uniformed head of his respective service (the Chiefs of Staff for the
                                        Army and the Air Force and the Chief of Naval Operations for the Navy), in
                                        accordance with the chain of command for each service. The academies
                                        perform the primary DOD oversight function for their respective
                                        preparatory schools. The commanding officers at the Air Force and Army



                                        8
                                            DOD Directive 1322.22 §§ 5.1 and 6.2.




                                        Page 7                                                   GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                     preparatory schools hold the rank of colonel, and the head of the Navy’s
                     preparatory school holds the equivalent rank of captain. They report
                     directly to the superintendent of their respective service academies, in
                     accordance with the chain of command for each service.

                     Appendix II provides general information about the three service academy
                     preparatory schools.


                     The three preparatory schools’ current mission statements do not clearly
Preparatory School   define the purpose for which the schools are being used by their
Missions Are Not     respective service academies. Mission statements should define an
                     organization’s purpose in language that states desired outcomes. Mission
Clearly Defined      statements also bring the organization’s vision into focus, explain why it
                     exists, and tell what it does. Without a clear mission statement, the
                     organization cannot establish goals that fully reflect the organization’s
                     intended purpose.

                     Although the preparatory schools exist to help the service academies meet
                     their diversity needs, the schools’ mission statements simply refer to
                     preparing “selected personnel who meet special needs,” “selected
                     candidates,” or “candidates” for admission to and success at the service
                     academies. These mission statements are not clearly aligned with DOD
                     guidance,9 which states that primary consideration for enrollment shall be
                     accorded to nominees to fill officer objectives for three target groups:
                     (1) enlisted personnel, (2) minorities, and (3) women. Senior academy
                     officials told us that their expectations of the preparatory schools are
                     consistent with DOD guidance on enrollment objectives and that they also
                     rely on the preparatory schools to meet their needs for a fourth group—
                     recruited athletes—adding that the service academies would not be able to
                     meet their diversity needs if the preparatory schools did not exist.
                     However, neither DOD nor the service academies have required the
                     preparatory schools to align their mission statements to reflect DOD’s
                     guidance and the service academies’ expectations. As a result, none of the
                     mission statements are explicit about the preparatory schools’ intended
                     purpose. Table 3 presents more detailed information on the preparatory
                     schools’ mission statements.




                     9
                         DOD Directive 1322.22 § 4.9.2.




                     Page 8                                         GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Table 3: Preparatory School Mission Statements

    Service academy
    preparatory school                     Mission statement
    Air Force                              To prepare, motivate, and evaluate for admission to and
                                           success at the Air Force Academy selected personnel
                                           who meet the special needs of the Air Force.
    Army                                   To provide academic, military, and physical instruction in a
                                           moral-ethical military environment to prepare and motivate
                                           candidates for success at the U.S. Military Academy.
    Navy                                   To prepare selected candidates morally, mentally, and
                                           physically, with emphasis on strengthening the academic
                                           foundation of individual candidates for officer accession
                                           through the U.S. Naval, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine
                                           Academies.
Source: Service academy preparatory schools.

.

Even though the mission statements are not explicit about the schools’
intended purpose, data on the number of students belonging to target
groups who enter the preparatory schools and then enter the service
academies indicate that, in practice, the schools are giving primary
consideration for enrollment to those target groups identified by the DOD
directive and the service academies—namely, enlisted personnel,
minorities, recruited athletes, and women—and are primarily preparing
those student groups for admission to the service academies. Preparatory
school and service academy admissions data over a 10-year period
indicate that the preparatory schools are a source for the academies of
target groups—enlisted personnel, minorities, recruited athletes, and
women—identified by DOD guidance and service academy officials.
Average admissions data on the representation of targeted groups in the
preparatory schools for preparatory school academic years 1993 through
2002 are shown in figure 2. (Appendix III contains detailed enrollment
figures, by target group, for each of the preparatory schools.) Figure 3
shows the average percentage of each targeted group enrolled at the
service academies that came from the preparatory schools for the same
time period.




Page 9                                                               GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Figure 2: Average Preparatory School Enrollment, by Target Group, for Preparatory
School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




Note: The population target groups are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, percentages may total
more than 100.




Page 10                                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Figure 3: Average Service Academy Target Group Enrollment, by Academy
Preparatory School, for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




We first identified this lack of clarity in mission statements in our 1992
report on the preparatory schools. In the 1992 report, we concluded that
the preparatory schools’ missions were not clearly defined and that the
preparatory schools appeared to be pursuing somewhat differing goals for
the target groups of enlisted personnel, minorities, recruited athletes, and
women—the primary groups the schools served at that time. We
recommended that the Secretary of Defense determine what role the
preparatory schools should play among the services’ officer production
programs and direct the services to clarify their school missions
accordingly. To address this lack of clarity, DOD indicated that it planned
to work with the services to develop a consistent mission statement for
these schools that would be approved by May 1992. As discussed
previously, however, the preparatory schools’ current mission statements
still do not clearly define the purpose for which the schools are being used
by their respective service academies.



Page 11                                           GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                           It is difficult to evaluate how effective the preparatory schools have been
Preparatory Schools        in accomplishing their missions because the service academies have not
Maintain Performance       established performance goals for their preparatory schools. The service
                           academies rely on the preparatory schools to meet their targeted needs for
Data, but Mission          enlisted personnel, minorities, recruited athletes, and women. The
Effectiveness Is           preparatory schools collect a substantial amount of performance data for
                           these targeted groups. However, without mission-linked performance
Difficult to Evaluate      goals and measures, the service academies cannot objectively and formally
                           assess these data to determine mission effectiveness. Without specific
                           performance goals, there is no objective yardstick against which to gauge
                           preparatory school effectiveness, as would be consistent with the
                           principle of best practices for ensuring optimal return on investment.

                           With performance goals against which to compare actual performance, an
                           organization can gauge how effectively it is meeting its mission. To assess
                           effectiveness in achieving its mission, an organization should

                           •   establish performance goals to define the level of performance to be
                               achieved by a program;
                           •   express such goals in an objective, quantifiable, and measurable form;
                           •   provide a basis to compare actual program results with performance
                               goals; and
                           •   report assessment results, including actions needed to achieve unmet
                               goals or make programs minimally effective.


Preparatory Schools        The preparatory schools collect performance data, such as the number of
Collect Performance Data   students admitted to the schools, the types of students (enlisted personnel,
                           minorities, recruited athletes, and women) admitted, and the number who
                           entered and graduated from the academies. These descriptive data show,
                           among other things, that during the past 10 years, an average of 76 percent
                           of students enrolled at the preparatory schools graduated from them. Data
                           for this same 10-year period show that a smaller percentage of all students
                           admitted to the preparatory schools graduated from or are still attending
                           the academies. For example, 51 percent of students who were admitted to
                           the Air Force Academy preparatory school, 56 percent of students
                           admitted to the Military Academy preparatory school, and 59 percent of
                           students admitted to the Naval Academy preparatory school graduated
                           from or are still attending their respective academies. Senior officials at
                           the preparatory schools and academies stated that they are satisfied with
                           these results.




                           Page 12                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Figure 4 shows the average number of students who entered the
preparatory schools, graduated from the preparatory schools, entered the
academies, and graduated from or are still attending the academies for
preparatory school academic years 1993 through 2002.

Figure 4: Average Number of Students Admitted to the Preparatory Schools and
Graduating from or Still Attending an Academy for Preparatory School Academic
Years 1993 through 2002




Note: Preparatory school students who entered the academies after 1998 were still attending the
academies at the time of this review.


Appendix IV provides more detailed information, for class totals and by
target groups, on the percentage of students who entered the preparatory
schools and graduated from or are still attending the academies between
preparatory school academic years 1993 and 2002. Appendix V provides
more detailed information, for class totals and target groups, on the
percentage of students who graduated from the preparatory schools for
that same time period. Appendix VI provides more detailed information,




Page 13                                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                         for class totals and by target groups, on the percentage of preparatory
                         school graduates who accepted appointments to the academies.


Service Academies Have   The service academies have not established quantified performance goals
Not Established          for their preparatory schools. However, they do have implicit
Performance Goals        expectations. Senior officials at both the preparatory schools and the
                         academies told us that the preparatory schools are expected to enable
                         preparatory school students to (1) meet the service academies’ academic
                         standards and (2) graduate from the service academies at rates
                         comparable to the rates of students who received direct appointments to
                         the service academies.

                         A 2.0 grade point average is the minimum level of academic performance
                         accepted at the academies. Our analysis of academy data for the
                         graduating class of 2002 shows that preparatory school graduates, as a
                         group, exceeded the 2.0 grade point average but had slightly lower
                         cumulative grade point averages than did the student body as a whole.10
                         Figure 5 shows the cumulative grade point averages for preparatory
                         school graduates and service academy student bodies as a whole for the
                         class of 2002.




                         10
                           Data refer to preparatory school graduates for class year 1998. These students graduated
                         from the academies in 2002.




                         Page 14                                                  GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Figure 5: Comparison between Academy Grade Point Averages of Preparatory
School Graduates and of Academy Student Bodies as a Whole for the Academy
Class of 2002




For preparatory school academic years 1993 through 1998, an average of
73 percent of preparatory school graduates who accepted appointments to
the academies graduated from the service academies, while the average
rate was 78 percent of students directly admitted to the academies for the
same years.11 Thus, graduation rates for preparatory school graduates were
slightly lower than the rates for students directly admitted to the service
academies. The academies, however, do not have a performance target for
graduation rates for preparatory school graduates, and therefore these
rates do not necessarily represent the achievement of a desired outcome.
Figure 6 shows the average percentage of preparatory school students
who graduated from the academies and the average percentage of directly
appointed students who graduated from the academies for preparatory


11
  Preparatory school students who entered the academies after 1998 were still attending
the academies at the time of this review. Therefore, 1998 is the last year in which academy
graduation data were available for preparatory school students.




Page 15                                                   GAO-03-1017 Military Education
school academic years 1993 through 1998. Appendix VII provides more
detailed information for comparative graduation rates for preparatory
school academic years 1993 through 1998 for each preparatory school.

Figure 6: Comparison between Average Academy Graduation Rates of Preparatory
School Graduates and of Direct Appointees for Preparatory School Academic Years
1993 through 1998




We first found that DOD had not established specific performance goals
for the preparatory schools in our 1992 review on the service academy
preparatory schools. In that report, we concluded that without such goals,
DOD lacked the tools it needed to determine whether the schools were
effective. DOD still has not required the academies to establish quantified
performance goals that are clearly linked with the mission of the schools.




Page 16                                           GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                         The effectiveness of DOD, military service, and service academy oversight
DOD Lacks a              is limited because the existing oversight framework for assessing
Complete Framework       preparatory school performance does not include, among other things,
                         performance goals and mission statements—as discussed in previous
to Facilitate More       sections of this report—and objective measures against which to assess
Effective Oversight of   performance. An effective oversight framework includes tracking
                         achievements in comparison with plans, goals, and objectives and
the Preparatory          analyzing the differences between actual performance and planned results.
Schools                  The interrelationship of these elements is essential for accountability and
                         proper stewardship of government resources, and for achieving effective
                         and efficient program results. Without formal goals and measures that are,
                         moreover, linked to mission statements, oversight bodies do not have
                         sufficient focus for their activities and cannot systematically assess an
                         organization’s strengths and weaknesses or identify appropriate remedies
                         to achieve the best value for the investment in the organization.

                         OUSD/P&R, the services, and the service academies have established
                         mechanisms to conduct oversight of the preparatory schools through DOD
                         guidance established in 1994.12 OUSD/P&R is required to assess and
                         monitor the preparatory schools’ operations based on the information
                         provided in the annual reports it requires from the service secretaries.13
                         The service headquarters are responsible for oversight for their respective
                         academies and preparatory schools, and they oversee the schools’
                         operations through the annual preparatory school reports that they submit
                         to OUSD/P&R. These reports contain data on various aspects of
                         preparatory school performance, such as student demographic trends,
                         admissions trends, and attrition.

                         The service academies exercise direct oversight of their respective
                         preparatory schools and monitor the schools’ performance through
                         ongoing collection of data required by OUSD/P&R. For example, each of
                         the service academies collects preparatory school data such as the number
                         of students admitted to the schools, the types of students (enlisted
                         personnel, minorities, recruited athletes, and women) admitted, and the
                         number who entered and graduated from the academies.

                         DOD, the service headquarters, and the service academies, through these
                         annual assessment reports, are able to compare aspects of preparatory


                         12
                              DOD Directive 1322.22.
                         13
                              DOD Directive 1322.22 §§ 5.1.2 and 6.2.




                         Page 17                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                      school performance against prior period results. For example, service
                      academy data show that over the past 10 years, 51 percent of students who
                      were admitted to the Air Force Preparatory School, 56 percent of students
                      admitted to the Military Academy Preparatory School, and 59 percent of
                      students admitted to the Naval Academy Preparatory School graduated
                      from or are still attending their respective academies. Other data reported
                      by the preparatory schools show that the percentage of students in the
                      target groups admitted to the schools has varied over the past 10 years.
                      However, as mentioned in previous sections of this report, the preparatory
                      schools lack quantified performance goals that are linked to clear mission
                      statements. Without goals linked to clear mission statements, DOD, the
                      service headquarters, and the service academies do not have an objective
                      basis by which to judge the effectiveness of the preparatory schools’
                      performance of their missions.


                      Although the service academy preparatory schools receive oversight from
Conclusions           a number of organizations, they lack clear mission statements and
                      quantified performance goals and measures. Thus, there is no objective
                      yardstick against which to gauge preparatory school performance,
                      consistent with the principle of best practices for ensuring optimal return
                      on investment. This conclusion reiterates our 1992 report’s finding that the
                      preparatory schools lacked clear mission statements and that DOD lacked
                      the tools necessary to determine whether the schools were effective.


                      We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Under Secretary
Recommendations for   of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, in concert with the service
Executive Action      headquarters and service academies, to

                      •   clarify the preparatory schools’ mission statements by aligning these
                          statements with the department’s guidance and the academies’
                          expectations, which target student groups for primary enrollment
                          consideration;
                      •   establish quantified performance goals and measures, linked with the
                          schools’ mission statements; and
                      •   enhance the existing oversight framework by using quantified
                          performance goals and measures to objectively evaluate the
                          performance of the preparatory schools.




                      Page 18                                         GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                  In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our
Agency Comments   recommendations and indicated that the mission statements of the
                  preparatory schools will be aligned with DOD guidance and service
                  expectations and that quantitative goals will be established to create
                  effective measures and appropriate standards for success. DOD added that
                  the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
                  will review and analyze these statistics over time to ensure the successful
                  performance of the preparatory schools. DOD’s comments are reprinted in
                  their entirety in appendix VIII.


                  We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
                  committees; the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the Navy, and the Air
                  Force; and the Director, Office of Management and Budget. We will also
                  make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the report will
                  be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov.

                  Please contact me on (202) 512-5559 if you or your staff have any
                  questions concerning this report. Key contributors are listed in appendix
                  IX.




                  Derek B. Stewart
                  Director
                  Defense Capabilities and Management




                  Page 19                                         GAO-03-1017 Military Education
             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology


             To assess the adequacy of the mission statements of the preparatory
             schools, we interviewed officials at the following locations: the Office of
             the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Washington,
             D.C.; the U.S. Air Force Academy, Washington Liaison Office, Washington,
             D.C.; Headquarters, Department of the Army, Personnel, Washington, D.C.;
             Headquarters, Department of the Navy, Office of Plans and Policy,
             Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs,
             Colorado; the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.; the U.S.
             Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; the U.S. Air Force Academy
             Preparatory School, Colorado Springs, Colorado; the U.S. Military
             Academy Preparatory School, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; and the U.S.
             Naval Academy Preparatory School, Newport, Rhode Island. We obtained
             and reviewed Department of Defense (DOD), service, service academy,
             and academy preparatory school guidance, service academy strategic
             plans and instructions, and preparatory school annual reports on
             operations and performance. Using data provided to us by the preparatory
             schools, we analyzed aggregate data for preparatory school academic
             years 1993 through 2002, by class totals and by four groups of
             students—enlisted personnel, minorities, recruited athletes, and
             women—to ascertain the extent to which these four groups of students
             were being admitted to the preparatory schools; at what rates these four
             groups of students graduated from the preparatory schools and accepted
             appointments to the academies; and how well these four groups fared at
             the academies in comparison with their nonpreparatory school peers. We
             also reviewed relevant studies on the preparatory schools conducted by
             internal and external sources.

             To evaluate the effectiveness of the preparatory schools in accomplishing
             their missions, we held discussions with senior service academy and
             preparatory school officials to determine what results they expected the
             preparatory schools to achieve, and we obtained their assessments of the
             schools’ effectiveness. We reviewed and analyzed aggregate preparatory
             school performance data for preparatory school academic years 1993
             through 2002. We reviewed and analyzed the preparatory schools’ annual
             assessment reports, as well as other relevant data gathered from the
             academies and the preparatory schools. For class totals and for the four
             target groups of students at each of the preparatory schools, we analyzed

             •   the number and percentage of preparatory school students who
                 entered and graduated from a preparatory school;
             •   the number and percentage of preparatory school graduates who
                 accepted an appointment to an academy;




             Page 20                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




•   the number and percentage of preparatory school graduates who
    accepted an appointment to an academy and then graduated from or
    are still attending an academy; and
•   the number and percentage of the original preparatory school students
    who graduated from or are still attending an academy.

We did not independently assess data reliability, but we obtained
assurances about data completeness, accuracy, and reliability from
academy officials responsible for maintaining data for each preparatory
school.

To assess the effectiveness of DOD oversight of the preparatory schools,
we reviewed DOD guidance on oversight roles, responsibilities, and
reporting requirements, as well as academy regulations and instructions,
and discussed oversight activities with DOD, service, and service academy
officials. Additionally, we reviewed criteria on the principles of effective
management, such as those found in Internal Control Standards: Internal
Control Management and Evaluation Tool.1

We conducted our review from February 2003 through July 2003 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




1
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Internal Control Standards: Internal Control
Management and Evaluation Tool, GAO-01-1008G (Washington, D.C.: August 2001).




Page 21                                             GAO-03-1017 Military Education
              Appendix II: General Information about the
Appendix II: General Information about the
              Three Service Academy Preparatory Schools



Three Service Academy Preparatory Schools


                                                U.S. Air Force
                                                Academy                 U.S. Military         U.S. Naval
                                                Preparatory             Academy               Academy
                                                School                  Preparatory School    Preparatory School
                  Service                       Air Force               Army                  Navy, Marine Corpsa
                  Location                      Colorado Springs,       Fort Monmouth, New    Newport, Rhode
                                                Colorado (co-           Jersey                Island
                                                located with the
                                                U.S. Air Force
                                                Academy)
                  Curriculum                    Math, English,          Math, English,        Math, English,
                                                Chemistry               Success               Chemistry, Physics,
                                                                        Development,          Information
                                                                        Physical Education,   Technology
                                                                        Chemistryb
                  Average                       228                     243                   261
                             c
                  enrollment
                  Average                       178                     179                   197
                  graduationc
                  Faculty                       About 35 percent        About 30 percent      1:1 ratio of military to
                  composition                   civilian, 65 percent    military and 70       civilian instructors,
                                                military instructors;   percent civilian      34 academic billets
                                                22 academic billets     instructors, 17
                                                                        academic billets
                  Academic year                 10 months; four-        10 months; four-      10 months; three-
                                                quarter program         quarter program       trimester program
              Source: Military service academies.
              a
               In addition to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, some students attending the U.S.
              Naval Academy Preparatory School also go on to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New
              London, Connecticut, or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.
              b
              The Military Academy Preparatory School offers a voluntary chemistry course over the summer
              break following graduation.
              c
              Averages are based on 10 years of data covering preparatory school academic years 1993 through
              2002.




              Page 22                                                              GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                      Appendix III: Preparatory School Enrollment
Appendix III: Preparatory School Enrollment


                      Figure 7 shows the composition of each class of Air Force Academy
U.S. Air Force        Preparatory School enrollees over the past 10 years. Minorities are the
Academy Preparatory   largest target group at the school, averaging 48 percent of enrollment. The
                      percentage of recruited athletes decreased from 1993 through 1996, and it
School                has remained relatively constant since then at about 40 percent of
                      enrollment. Enlisted personnel experienced the greatest change,
                      constituting 12 percent of the student body in 1993, and peaking to 28
                      percent in 1996. Enlisted personnel averaged 18 percent of the enrolled
                      class from 1993 through 2002.

                      Figure 7: Percentage of Total Enrollment, by Target Groups, at the U.S. Air Force
                      Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through
                      2002




                      Note: The population target groups are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, percentages may total
                      more than 100.




                      Page 23                                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                        Appendix III: Preparatory School Enrollment




U.S. Military Academy   Since 1996 the percentage of enlisted personnel enrolled at the Military
Preparatory School      Academy Preparatory School has generally declined from a high of 54
                        percent in 1996 to a low of 25 percent in 2002. Concurrently, the
                        enrollment of minorities has fluctuated between 29 and 49 percent. (See
                        fig. 8.)

                        Figure 8: Percentage of Total Enrollment, by Target Groups, at the U.S. Military
                        Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through
                        2002




                        Note: The population target groups are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, percentages may total
                        more than 100.




U.S. Naval Academy      The composition of each class of Naval Academy Preparatory School
Preparatory School      enrollees over the past 10 years is shown in figure 9. Minorities constituted
                        the largest target group, averaging 44 percent from 1993 through 2002.
                        Enlisted personnel made up, on average, 29 percent of the enrolled class,
                        and recruited athletes made up, on average, 31 percent of the class.




                        Page 24                                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Appendix III: Preparatory School Enrollment




Figure 9: Percentage of Total Enrollment, by Target Groups, at the U.S. Naval
Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through
2002




Note: The population target groups are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, percentages may total
more than 100.




Page 25                                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                      Appendix IV: Students Who Entered the
Appendix IV: Students Who Entered the
                      Preparatory Schools and Graduated from or
                      Are Still Attending the Academies


Preparatory Schools and Graduated from or
Are Still Attending the Academies
                      Figure 10 shows the percentage of all Air Force Academy Preparatory
U.S. Air Force        School students who graduated from or are still attending the Air Force
Academy Preparatory   Academy. From 1993 through 1998, academy graduation rates of Air Force
                      Preparatory School students ranged from 43 percent to 53 percent.1 Figure
School                11 shows the same data for each of the four target groups.

                      Figure 10: Percentage of Total U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School
                      Enrollment Graduating from or Still Attending the U.S. Air Force Academy for
                      Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                      1
                       Preparatory school students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the
                      academy at the time of this review.




                      Page 26                                                 GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                        Appendix IV: Students Who Entered the
                                        Preparatory Schools and Graduated from or
                                        Are Still Attending the Academies




Figure 11: Percentage of Four Target Groups Entering the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School and Graduating from
or Still Attending the U.S. Air Force Academy for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                                        Note: Preparatory school students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the
                                        academy at the time of this review.




                                        Page 27                                                       GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                        Appendix IV: Students Who Entered the
                        Preparatory Schools and Graduated from or
                        Are Still Attending the Academies




U.S. Military Academy   Figure 12 shows the percentage of all Army Preparatory School students
Preparatory School      who graduated from or are still attending the Military Academy. From 1993
                        through 1998, academy graduation rates of Army Preparatory School
                        students ranged from 46 percent to 59 percent.2 Figure 13 shows the same
                        data for each of the four target groups.

                        Figure 12: Percentage of Total U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School
                        Enrollment Graduating from or Still Attending the U.S. Military Academy for
                        Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                        2
                         Preparatory school students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the
                        academy at the time of this review.




                        Page 28                                                 GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                        Appendix IV: Students Who Entered the
                                        Preparatory Schools and Graduated from or
                                        Are Still Attending the Academies




Figure 13: Percentage of Four Target Groups Entering the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School and Graduating from or
Still Attending the U.S. Military Academy for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                                        Note: Preparatory school students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the
                                        academy at the time of this review.




                                        Page 29                                                       GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                     Appendix IV: Students Who Entered the
                     Preparatory Schools and Graduated from or
                     Are Still Attending the Academies




U.S. Naval Academy   Figure 14 shows the percentage of all Naval Academy Preparatory School
Preparatory School   students who graduated from or are still attending the Naval Academy.
                     From 1993 through 1998, academy graduation rates of Naval Academy
                     Preparatory School students ranged from 50 percent to 63 percent.3 Figure
                     15 shows the same data for each of the four target groups.

                     Figure 14: Percentage of Total U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School Enrollment
                     Graduating from or Still Attending the U.S. Naval Academy for Preparatory School
                     Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                     3
                      Preparatory school students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the
                     academy at the time of this review.




                     Page 30                                                 GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                       Appendix IV: Students Who Entered the
                                       Preparatory Schools and Graduated from or
                                       Are Still Attending the Academies




Figure 15: Percentage of Four Target Groups Entering the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School and Graduating from or
Still Attending the U.S. Naval Academy for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                                       Note: Preparatory school students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the
                                       academy at the time of this review.




                                       Page 31                                                       GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                      Appendix V: Students Who Entered the
Appendix V: Students Who Entered the
                      Preparatory Schools and Graduated from the
                      Preparatory Schools


Preparatory Schools and Graduated from the
Preparatory Schools
                      Figure 16 shows the graduation rates for the Air Force Academy
U.S. Air Force        Preparatory School. In 2002, 79 percent of the students enrolled in the U.S.
Academy Preparatory   Air Force Preparatory School graduated from the preparatory school. The
                      graduation rate remained relatively constant, averaging 78 percent from
School                1993 through 2002.

                      Figure 16: Percentage of Students Graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy
                      Preparatory School for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                      Air Force preparatory school graduation rates by target group are shown
                      in figure 17. Recruited athletes had the lowest graduation rates, averaging
                      67 percent over 10 years. Women and minorities had similar graduation
                      rates over 10 years, both averaging 83 percent. Enlisted personnel had the
                      highest graduation rate, averaging 85 percent over the past 10 years.




                      Page 32                                           GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                        Appendix V: Students Who Entered the
                                        Preparatory Schools and Graduated from the
                                        Preparatory Schools




Figure 17: Percentage of Four Target Groups Graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School for
Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




U.S. Military Academy                   Figure 18 shows the trend in Army preparatory school graduation rates
Preparatory School                      over the past 10 years. In 2002, 77 percent of students in the U.S. Military
                                        Academy Preparatory School graduated from the school. The graduation
                                        rate increased during the past 10 years, from a low of 59 percent in 1993 to
                                        a high of 82 percent in 2000, before declining slightly in both 2001 and
                                        2002.




                                        Page 33                                            GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Appendix V: Students Who Entered the
Preparatory Schools and Graduated from the
Preparatory Schools




Figure 18: Percentage of Students Graduating from the U.S. Military Academy
Preparatory School for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




Figure 19 shows the Army preparatory school graduation rates, by target
group, over the past 10 years. The rate for women increased—in fact
doubled—from a low of 42 percent in 1993 to a high of 84 percent in 2001.
On average, minorities graduated at a higher rate—73 percent—than did
the other target groups from 1993 through 2002. Enlisted personnel had
the lowest graduation rate among the four target groups, averaging
67 percent over 10 years.




Page 34                                           GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                        Appendix V: Students Who Entered the
                                        Preparatory Schools and Graduated from the
                                        Preparatory Schools




Figure 19: Percentage of Four Target Groups Graduating from the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory
School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




U.S. Naval Academy                      Figure 20 shows the trend in overall graduation rates at the Navy
Preparatory School                      preparatory school for the past 10 years. Graduation rates at the school
                                        generally declined until 2000, reaching a low of 68 percent in that year. The
                                        graduation rate increased in the last 2 years, reaching 73 percent in 2002.
                                        Graduation rates averaged 75 percent over the 10 years.




                                        Page 35                                            GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Appendix V: Students Who Entered the
Preparatory Schools and Graduated from the
Preparatory Schools




Figure 20: Percentage of Students Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy
Preparatory School for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




Figure 21 shows historical trends in Navy preparatory school graduation
rates for target groups. Enlisted personnel had an average graduation rate
of 83 percent, the highest among the target groups. Women and recruited
athletes had lower graduation rates, both averaging 69 percent over 10
years. Graduation rates for minorities generally declined after peaking at
90 percent in 1994 and averaged 73 percent from 1993 to 2002.




Page 36                                          GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                        Appendix V: Students Who Entered the
                                        Preparatory Schools and Graduated from the
                                        Preparatory Schools




Figure 21: Percentage of Four Target Groups Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School for Preparatory
School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                                        Page 37                                           GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                      Appendix VI: Students Who Graduated from
Appendix VI: Students Who Graduated from
                      the Preparatory Schools and Accepted
                      Appointments to the Academies


the Preparatory Schools and Accepted
Appointments to the Academies
                      Figure 22 shows the percentage of Air Force preparatory school graduates
U.S. Air Force        who accepted appointments at the Air Force Academy. This percentage
Academy Preparatory   has remained relatively constant over the past 10 years. On average,
                      91 percent of the graduates accepted appointments to attend the Air Force
School                Academy.

                      Figure 22: Percentage of U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School Graduates
                      Accepting U.S. Air Force Academy Appointments for Preparatory School Academic
                      Years 1993 through 2002




                      Figure 23 shows the percentage of Air Force preparatory school students
                      in the four target groups–enlisted personnel, minorities, recruited athletes,
                      and women–who accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy. All
                      four groups had similar acceptance rates of appointments for admission.
                      For the past 10 years, of those who graduated, an average of 91 percent of
                      enlisted personnel, 92 percent of minorities, 93 percent of recruited
                      athletes, and 90 percent of women accepted an appointment to attend the
                      Air Force Academy.




                      Page 38                                          GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                        Appendix VI: Students Who Graduated from
                                        the Preparatory Schools and Accepted
                                        Appointments to the Academies




Figure 23: Percentage of Four Target Groups of U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School Graduates Accepting U.S. Air
Force Academy Appointments for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                                        Note: At each of the three preparatory schools, some students do not graduate, but they may be
                                        admitted to an academy per a commanding officer’s recommendation. Therefore, some acceptance
                                        rates may exceed 100 percent.




U.S. Military Academy                   Figure 24 shows the rate at which U.S. Military Preparatory School
Preparatory School                      students accepted appointments to attend the U.S. Military Academy.
                                        From 1993 through 2002, 97 percent of U.S. Military Academy Preparatory
                                        School graduates accepted appointments to attend the U.S. Military
                                        Academy.




                                        Page 39                                                     GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Appendix VI: Students Who Graduated from
the Preparatory Schools and Accepted
Appointments to the Academies




Figure 24: Percentage of U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School Graduates
Accepting U.S. Military Academy Appointments for Preparatory School Academic
Years 1993 through 2002




Figure 25 shows the rate at which Army preparatory school students in the
target groups accepted appointments to attend the Military Academy. On
average, almost all students in three target groups—minorities, recruited
athletes, and women—accepted appointments into the U.S. Military
Academy from 1993 through 2002. The acceptance rate for enlisted
personnel decreased to 85 percent in 1999; however, it increased to
128 percent in 2002.




Page 40                                          GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                        Appendix VI: Students Who Graduated from
                                        the Preparatory Schools and Accepted
                                        Appointments to the Academies




Figure 25: Percentage of Four Target Groups of U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School Graduates Accepting U.S. Military
Academy Appointments for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                                        Note: At each of the three preparatory schools, some students do not graduate, but they may be
                                        admitted to an academy per a commanding officer’s recommendation. Therefore, some acceptance
                                        rates may exceed 100 percent.


                                        Figure 26 shows the acceptance rate, by Navy preparatory school
                                        graduates, of appointments into the Naval Academy. Rates remained
                                        relatively constant over 10 years, falling to a low of 87 percent in 1998 and
                                        increasing to 100 percent in 1999. On average, 97 percent of the graduates
                                        accepted appointments to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.




                                        Page 41                                                     GAO-03-1017 Military Education
Appendix VI: Students Who Graduated from
the Preparatory Schools and Accepted
Appointments to the Academies




Figure 26: Percentage of U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School Graduates
Accepting U.S. Naval Academy Appointments for Preparatory School Academic
Years 1993 through 2002




Note: At each of the three preparatory schools, some students do not graduate, but they may be
admitted to an academy per a commanding officer’s recommendation. Therefore, some acceptance
rates may exceed 100 percent.


Figure 27 shows the rate at which Navy preparatory school students in the
target groups accepted appointments to attend the Naval Academy.
Women had the highest average acceptance rate among the four target
groups, averaging 100 percent over 10 years. Although acceptance rates for
enlisted personnel remained at or above 100 percent from 1999 through
2002, they had the lowest average acceptance rate, averaging 90 percent,
over 10 years. On average, 99 percent of minorities and 95 percent of
recruited athletes accepted nominations to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.




Page 42                                                     GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                                       Appendix VI: Students Who Graduated from
                                       the Preparatory Schools and Accepted
                                       Appointments to the Academies




Figure 27: Percentage of Four Target Groups of U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School Graduates Accepting U.S. Naval
Academy Appointments for Preparatory School Academic Years 1993 through 2002




                                       Note: At each of the three preparatory schools, some students do not graduate, but they may be
                                       admitted to an academy per a commanding officer’s recommendation. Therefore, some acceptance
                                       rates may exceed 100 percent.




                                       Page 43                                                     GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                         Appendix VII: Academy Graduation Rates for
Appendix VII: Academy Graduation Rates for
                         Preparatory School Graduates Versus Direct
                         Appointees


Preparatory School Graduates Versus Direct
Appointees
U.S. Air Force Academy   Figure 28 shows a comparison between the Air Force Academy graduation
                         rates of preparatory school graduates and those of students who accepted
                         direct appointments to the academy. Academy graduation rates of Air
                         Force Academy Preparatory School graduates from 1993 through 1998
                         were, on average, lower than those of direct appointees.1 Only in 1993 was
                         the difference in graduation rates between preparatory school graduates
                         and direct appointees greater than 10 percent.

                         Figure 28: Comparative U.S. Air Force Academy Graduation Rates for Preparatory
                         School Academic Years 1993 through 1998




                         1
                          All students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the academy and had
                         not yet graduated at the time of this review.




                         Page 44                                                 GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                        Appendix VII: Academy Graduation Rates for
                        Preparatory School Graduates Versus Direct
                        Appointees




U.S. Military Academy   Figure 29 shows a comparison between the Military Academy graduation
                        rates of preparatory school graduates and those of students who accepted
                        direct appointments to the academy. Academy graduation rates of Military
                        Academy Preparatory School graduates from 1993 through 1998 were, on
                        average, lower than those of direct appointees.2

                        Figure 29: Comparative U.S. Military Academy Graduation Rates for Preparatory
                        School Academic Years 1993 through 1998




                        2
                         All students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the academy and had
                        not yet graduated at the time of this review.




                        Page 45                                                 GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                     Appendix VII: Academy Graduation Rates for
                     Preparatory School Graduates Versus Direct
                     Appointees




U.S. Naval Academy   Figure 30 shows a comparison between the Naval Academy graduation
                     rates of preparatory school graduates and those of students who accepted
                     direct appointments to the academy. Academy graduation rates of Naval
                     Academy Preparatory School graduates from 1993 through 1998 were, on
                     average, lower than those of direct appointees.3

                     Figure 30: Comparative U.S. Naval Academy Graduation Rates for Preparatory
                     School Academic Years 1993 through 1998




                     3
                      All students who entered the academy after 1998 were still attending the academy and had
                     not yet graduated at the time of this review.




                     Page 46                                                 GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                   Appendix VIII: Comments from the
Appendix VIII: Comments from the
                   Department of Defense



Department of Defense




         Page 47                                      GAO-03-1017 Military Education
          Appendix VIII: Comments from the
          Department of Defense




Page 48                                      GAO-03-1017 Military Education
                  Appendix IX: GAO Contact and Staff
Appendix IX: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Sandra F. Bell (202) 512-8981
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the name above, Daniel J. Byrne, Leslie M. Gregor, David F.
Acknowledgments   Keefer, Tina M. Morgan, David E. Moser, Cheryl A. Weissman, and Susan
                  K. Woodward made key contributions to this report.




(350312)
                  Page 49                                        GAO-03-1017 Military Education
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