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Penn State’s First Military Base Classroom Opens For Fall Semester

Penn State and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot agreed in March to help military personnel obtain degrees while stationed at the San Diego Marine Base. The new classroom — the first Penn State center of learning on a Marine base — is now opening to mirror the beginning of the fall semester.

The new classroom, located at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, is designed to enhance the university’s dedication to military students, and to continue the spread of its nationally-recognized World Campus program, its leaders said last week at an inauguration and ribbon-cutting ceremony according to Penn State news.

“We are very honored to extend our tradition of prestige, challenge and quality through the opening of the new Penn State classroom at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot,” said Penn State’s vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education Craig Weidemann, according to the Penn State news article. “We’re here to reaffirm our commitment of access to a quality education for every military student, military spouse and veteran learner. I feel that our goals are keenly aligned with the Marine Corps.”

A host of courses, from defense to business-related classes, will be available at the classroom, and students will be able to continue their education via World Campus upon moving off of the base. The first course will be taught through Penn State’s labor and employment relations program, jointly organized by the College of the Liberal Arts and World Campus. The classroom itself is located at the Lifelong Learning Center and was recently renovated to support modern educational technology. It’s a valuable education, as Col. Mark Tull, the chief of staff at the base, attested.

“As Marines, we pride ourselves on doing three things: making Marines, winning our nation’s battles and returning better citizens to society,” he said. “Having an internationally renowned institution such as Penn State joining our already impressive array of colleges and universities aboard the depot helps us accomplish all of these and expands the opportunities that we can provide to the individual looking to advance his or her education.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by top Penn State education and military base officials. President Eric Barron, who didn’t attend the event, expressed his support in a letter.

“We are deeply honored to expand pathways to a high-quality education, as well as the Penn State community, through the establishment of the Penn State classroom at MCRD San Diego,” he said. “This privilege to serve our military is one that we take very seriously. Our military men and women are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our country, and they deserve the very best that higher education has to offer.”

Image: Penn State News

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA


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