Hugh Pickens writes: "The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration has proposed the creation of an intelligence officer training program in colleges and universities that would function much like the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) run by the military services creating a stream "of first- and second-generation Americans, who already have critical language and cultural knowledge, and prepare them for careers in the intelligence agencies." Students attending participating colleges and universities who agree to take the specialized courses would apply to the national intelligence director for admittance to the program, whose administrators would select individuals "competitively" for financial assistance. The students' participation in the program would probably be kept secret to prevent them from being identified by foreign intelligence services, according to an official familiar with the proposal. The intelligence officer training program would build on previous pilot programs including the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (PRIST) that provides monetary incentive to college students who pursue studies in critical language specialties, area studies, and technical and scientific specialties. Applicants to the PRIST are cautioned that they "must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last 12 months" and that although "friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are an applicant for or an employee of the CIA," their interest, "may not be benign or in your best interest.""
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