Kaplan University, nationally known for its diverse, online college degree programs, has opened its doors at Fort Irwin with a new, “hybrid delivery” program – a blend of weekly lecture classes and web-based classes.
The first class now underway is for students seeking an associate of science degree in health science. The class – an English writing course – was held at the Fort Irwin education center, Sept. 23, and will continue weekly for the next nine weeks
Dan Elder, Military-Academic Partnerships Transition and Education Consultant for Kaplan University, said that students must also broaden their knowledge and skills outside the medical field, so the first classes being taught are in the areas of English composition, the humanities, and mathematics.
“Kaplan University’s Associate of Science degree maximizes the training that Soldiers get for their (military occupational specialty),” Elder said. “We will review the training they’ve gotten in their MOS. Soldiers in some MOS’s can get degrees in health science, with as little as five classes.”
Elder noted that as courses are mainly taught online, students don’t need to purchase textbooks, since the course content is web-based. Students can attend the mandatory classes by using Kaplan’s virtual classroom software that can be loaded onto home computers or smart phones.
The program here is currently limited to Soldiers in the medical field, but will be later be open to civilian members of the Fort Irwin community, according to Fort Irwin Education Center Director, John Valentine.
While this health services program is new to Fort Irwin, a similar program is also taught at Fort Bliss and Fort Benning. Kaplan has more than 150 different education programs.
While it is traditionally known as an online institution, Kaplan has 15 ground campuses across the United States, said Elder.