2017-08-11 / Front Page

Education Center to expand services, move its location

BY LAURA LEVERING
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

Big changes are coming to Fort Gordon’s Education Center.

Service members and their family members pursuing higher education will soon have more options in a centralized location to better support the community.

Alvin Crawford, supervisory education services specialist, Fort Gordon Army Continuing Education System Education Center, said he is pleased to announce a new partnership with Augusta University and the University of Maryland UMUC. The partnership will increase degree plan offerings on the installation and afford better opportunities to those in the cyber career field.

AU will offer a bachelor’s degree program in technology with a concentration in cyber security. UMUC’s degree programs include a bachelor’s in computer science, homeland security, and information system management. UMUC will also be responsible for distance learning in computer network and cyber security, and cyber security management and policy.

The AU classroom at Fort Gordon will be linked directly to the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center being built in downtown Augusta.

“Because of the growth of Augusta University with the new $60 million (Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center) that they’re opening up downtown, they were willing to come on the installation, (and) join in with us to have our students have access to the cyber center that they are building,” Crawford said.

Furthermore, AU will accept associates degrees from Georgia Military College as part of their bachelor’s degree program.

“It will be guaranteed enrollment, and now we won’t have programs that are not articulated and a student won’t be losing all their credits,” Crawford said.

UMUC will allow continuity with its online program so that when a service member leaves Fort Gordon, they may continue their degree. Webster University, already on Fort Gordon, will have a master’s degree program in cyber security. Each of the programs has National Security Agency-Certificate of Academic Excellence accreditation. They will also award credit for relevant training a service member receives through Advanced Individual Training and various courses on the installation including the 17 series Captain’s Career Course.

Crawford said it’s a collaboration of learning institutions that will set service members up for success as they prepare for the future.

“Cyber is growing by leaps and bounds on the installation and in the employment sector,” Crawford said. “Soldiers leaving Fort Gordon after they do their time in service should be able to find good quality, high paying jobs. There’s no reason for them not to.”

Degree programs are open to all active duty service members and their families who are assigned to the Fort Gordon areas of responsibility. Family members will receive the same cost as service members who enroll and are in attendance so long as they remain continuously enrolled until degree completion. Scholarships are available for eligible service members and family members.

In an effort to enhance services, the education center will relocate from Building 21606, Barnes Avenue, to the new Command Support Center, Building 35200. The new location will be in close proximity to other organizations including Army Community Service, Judge Advocate General, Equal Employment Opportunity, and others.

The move will be completed in three phases and should be finished by late September. Crawford anticipates the colleges will be fully operational by January, just in time for winter semester.

“We’re bringing the colleges in right now as we speak to start outfitting their particular labs,” Crawford said.

The new location will provide an environment where classrooms and labs will be co-located, and students will be provided an opportunity to learn in modern computerized classrooms. Crawford said he hopes service members make the most of their time at Fort Gordon by taking advantage of the opportunity to advance.

“They can’t say that the opportunity wasn’t here, the money wasn’t here, and the facility wasn’t modern enough because all three of those things have joined hands,” Crawford said. “They put a lot of money into that place to get it right, and now the colleges are going to come in and outfit it make sure that it’s modern; not just a room with desks and chairs.”

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