Discovery ChalleNGe Academy

Discovery ChalleNGe Academy is a partnership between the California National Guard and San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) for youth between the ages of 16 and 18 who have dropped out of high school, are at-risk of dropping out, or are credit deficient.

The SJCOE’s County Operated Schools and Programs (COSP) provides the educational component at Discovery, which is located at the Sharpe Army Depot in Lathrop.

Discovery offers a highly structured environment that promotes leadership, cooperation, and academic skills, while building self-esteem, pride, and confidence.

Applicants must commit to complete the voluntary program, which includes a 22-week residential phase followed by a 12-month post-residential phase. Once accepted into the program, cadets are introduced to the military structure, participate in team-building activities, practice making healthy choices, attend school daily, gain organizational and study skills, participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and receive the support they need to turn their lives around. Cadets also engage in community service that will bring benefits to the wider San Joaquin County community.

Discovery is part of National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program, the third in the state and the first in Northern California.

For more information, please follow this link to the Discovery ChalleNGe website at, call (844) 633-3301, or email

DCA Student Handbook (English)
DCA Student Handbook (Spanish)