MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines hear a lot of ‘What can you do for your country?’, but you may wonder what can the Marines Corps do for you? Educational opportunities abound in the Corps and the Department of Defense wants Marines to take advantage of them.
The Lifelong Learning Center is the education office at Camp Lejeune and provides education services that use technology, distance learning, traditional and non-traditional resources in a way that will increase and improve the educational programs and counseling services being offered to service members, according to the Lifelong Learning Center website.
“We’re here for the service members of Camp Lejeune to create an environment of learning, which will help them succeed while they are serving their country and when they transition back to the civilian sector,” said Peter Harris, education chief of Camp Lejeune Consolidated Education Center.
Prospective students start by speaking to counselors at the LLC who explain the education process and provide initial paperwork including tuition assistance forms, said Harris.
“We want to know where the person is educationally by providing a mini-adult-basic education-test or if the person has finished college where they can be placed,” added Harris.
Students can chose from a curriculum of vocational and technical training, associate and bachelor degree programs, advance degree programs using new technology, such as telecommunication, distance learning methods as well as traditional classroom learning techniques, which allows a place for any schedule or interest, said Harris.
“We have service members in every kind of class you can imagine from biology to philosophy and in every academic level”, said Harris.
The LLC has relationships with several education institutions, which allow Marines to work on degree programs such as their masters to finishing the requirements to become a teacher, according to the LLC website
Deployments and training can make going to school difficult, but the Department of Defense’s Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support offers three options for distanced learning, according to the DANTES website located at www.dantes.doded.mil.
DANTES offers the External Degree Catalog, Independent Study Catalog and the Catalog of Nationally Accredited Distance Learning Programs. The three catalogs provide extensive information about available distance learning courses and programs. The catalogs provide easy access to undergraduate and graduate academic courses from more than 200 institutions, according to the DANTES website.
“The DANTES program allows our Marines an alternative to traditional learning and we help facilitate the students with their decision in the program,” said Harris.
Programs abound, but how do Marines pay for them?
More and more military members are using tuition assistance to enroll in an increasing number of courses annually, added Harris
Tuition assistance for active duty service members provides up to $4,500 per fiscal year and $250 per semester hour in addition to any course-specific fees, according to Marine Corps Order 1560.33.
There are some strings according to the LLC website, all first-time college students must complete a "TA Orientation" class - College 101 - prior to utilizing tuition assistance and according to MCO 1560.33, voluntary withdrawal from a class, failure to clear an incomplete class within six months or actually failing a class means students must pay the program back.
For more information about education opportunities contact the LLC at 910-451-3091 or visit them in Building 202 (next to Base Theater).