News: Program offers learning opportunities
Story by Lance Cpl. David Hersey
CAMP FOSTER, Japan - The education center on Camp Foster is scheduled to launch the Marine and Sailor Success Program March 18 for Marines and sailors desiring to retake their Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test or earn college credits.
The program is designed to help Marines and sailors by supplying them with courses in college-level math and English.
On March 18, the participating Marines and sailors will attend an orientation, tour the education center, see what resources will be available to them during the course, and meet their course instructors.
“This is our first time implementing the program,” said Tina M. Smilie, director of education and career services, Marine Corps Community Services Okinawa. “If we have good results, we hope to have several iterations of this program per year.”
Students can earn several college credits, which can be applied to degrees at accepting colleges or universities.
The classes, which include pre-algebra, fundamental writing and grammar, college mathematics and speech, are taught through the University of Maryland University College. They are separate from the eight-week night classes normally offered, according to Christa Graham, director of the UMUC on Okinawa. In this program, the classes are four-weeks long, held four-days-a-week and last the entire workday.
Applicants must get approval to attend by their officer in charge and obtain temporary additional duty orders and tuition assistance to pay for the classes.
“One of the biggest advantages for the Marines and sailors participating in the program is that when they complete it, they leave with six college credits,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel T. Gordon, career planner for III Marine Expeditionary Force. “The program doesn’t just help with their ASVAB scores - it can also give them a foot in a door if they plan on going to college.”
All Marines and sailors interested in participating in the program can acquire application information at either the education center or their unit’s career planner.