Georgia Southern University has won the opportunity for a future contract with the U.S. Navy to help expand educational opportunities for active duty Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. The University is among 119 colleges from across the country that were selected to provide distance and online learning curriculum and courses to the military members.
“I see this as a wonderful opportunity for Georgia Southern, a military friendly institution located 55 miles from a major army base,” said retired Col. George Fredrick, Georgia Southern’s director of Military and Veteran Services. “The Marine Corps Parris Island training base is 82 miles from the Armstrong Campus, and about 60 miles from Statesboro is the United States Army Cyber Center of Excellence and the Army’s Signal Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon.” I just think that this is another testament to what kind of military friendly institution we are.”
The partnership with the newly formed United States Naval Community College (USNCC) stems from the U.S. Navy’s broader Education for Seapower Strategy, aimed at enhancing the enlisted force’s ability to master new and emerging technologies. The Navy is heavily invested in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Fredrick said.
“At Georgia Southern University, we have strong programs in each of these areas,” he added. “I am confident that our strong educational capabilities and continued expansion of delivery modes assisted in earning this opportunity with the Navy.”
Fredrick also noted that the partnership with the USNCC could mean “a potential increase in enrollment of Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.” Students will enroll through the USNCC and to selected institutions for delivery of courses and programs. The USNCC will launch the initiative in January 2021 with a pilot group of approximately 500 sailors and Marines. The program is expected to grow each year reaching full-scale operations of up to 25,000 students in January 2023 and eventually to 50,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen attending institutions across the nation.