Education fair a jumpstart to degree

The annual Fort Irwin Education Fair provided Soldiers, family members and the community an opportunity to speak with representatives from 35 educational, military and Veterans service organizations, Aug. 13.

The fair, hosted by the Fort Irwin Education Center, has become an annual event where those interested in starting or furthering higher educational goals can expect to see developments in degree programs and the way they are administered by the attending colleges. Colleges at the fair included: Academy Art Institute, Ashford University, California State University at San Bernardino, Colorado tech University, Devry University, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, Los Angeles Film School, Liberty University, Sonoran Desert Institute and Trident University. Other organizations included the Troops to Teachers program and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Education Center Director John Valentine said five colleges have permanent representatives on Fort Irwin and they are: Barstow Community College, Park University, American Military University, Kaplan, and the University of Maryland University College. Barstow and Park also administer classes on post.

Many of the colleges represented at the fair offer degree programs online.

Valentine stated the Army is pushing for Soldiers transitioning to civilian life to pursue education.

He thanked leadership – from company-level units to the National Training Center commanding general – for their support of education center programs.

“Without command support, the Ed Center could not be as successful as we are,” Valentine said. “With their support we can help train, we can help the Soldiers when they retire or when they transition out – and that includes family members, because the family members are the ones pushing servicemembers to become marketable when they get out.”

For more information, or to speak with a counselor, contact the education center here at 380-4643.

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