CSU Wins Contract to Offer Continuing Ed Programs at Fort Benning

Columbus State University, already delivering a block of degree-credit courses at Fort Benning, has contracted with the U.S. Army to deliver youth-oriented continuing education programs on post for at least the next five years.

The programs, wide-ranging in scope, will serve families of soldiers in coordination with Fort Bennings division of Youth Education Support Services.

The programs will start in March to accommodate a large number of families of soldiers who have returned from active duty and are on leave in January and February.

The courses will be geared initially to pre-college-age young adults and children and will cover music, ballet, drivers education, computer software, Spanish and Chinese, plus SAT tutorials in math and English.

Its a perfect fit, said DeWayne Baldwin, Fort Bennings director of youth education support services. With Columbus States reputation for delivering quality programs, we look forward to offering our kids new and interesting learning experiences.

The programs accessibility will be significant, said CSU Continuing Education Director Susan Wirt. Were particularly excited to be able to provide these programs on post for the convenience of the military families.

Based on the Fort Benning facilities where CSUs programs will be offered, courses beyond spring 2006 could include horseback riding, swimming, camping, fishing and archery, said CSU continuing education program manager Steve Clark, who has coordinated music lessons at the RiverCenter for soldiers since 2002.

Baldwin said research has shown that kids raised on military bases tend to miss out on creative learning experiences that are not part of their base, school curriculums. With Columbus States help, were filling this gap, he said.

This CSU-Fort Benning partnership is part of a larger initiative by the university to help serve the needs of a military community thats projected to increase over the next few years by nearly 28,000, including soldiers, their families, government civilians and contractors.

CSU has opened the spring semester by delivering multiple degree-credit courses on post for the first time in several years. The six courses collectively enroll 64 students and are Technological Solutions, College Success, Principles of Microeconomics, Human Development, Motivation and Learning, Life and Career Planning and Business Ethics.

Separately, CSUs Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership has collaborated since 1994 in Marriage and Family Therapy training for Army chaplains at Fort Benning. The program, jointly administered by CSU and the Pastoral Institute, trains six chaplains each year.