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Columbia College to open campus at Fort Sill

(Columbia, Mo.)-Soldiers and civilians at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, soon will have new opportunities to take classes while serving the country with the opening of a new college on the post. Columbia College, a private, not-for-profit institution based out of Columbia, Mo., announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Army to begin offering classes in March 2008 at Fort Sill, located near Lawton, Okla.

Columbia College's on-post program will offer a Bachelor of General Studies degree with minors in criminal justice administration, history and human services. Classes on-post will be available to personnel stationed at Fort Sill, as well as their family members and residents of the local civilian communities. The on-post classes will not be available until the spring, but students may begin taking classes online beginning Jan. 14, 2008. The college's Online Campus offers more than 500 course sections and 18 online degrees, including a Master of Business Administration and a new Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Prospective students are encouraged to apply now for admission to Columbia College in preparation for the January Session.

The partnership between Columbia College and Fort Sill, one of 16 such agreements the college has entered into with military installations in the United States and Cuba, developed when the U.S. Army invited Columbia College to administer eClep, DSST and Pearson View EMT testing last summer. These discussions prompted the Army to expand its invitation for the college to launch an on-campus program.

Mike Randerson, vice president for Adult Higher Education at Columbia College, said that establishing a presence at Fort Sill presents mutually beneficial opportunities for Columbia College and Fort Sill. "While the partnership

offers students a program of academic quality and one of the most affordable tuition rates in the area, the college welcomes the opportunity to establish a presence at Fort Sill and near one of Oklahoma's fastest growing cities," Randerson said.

"It is an honor to welcome Fort Sill into our network of military partners and to serve those who are nobly serving our country," Randerson continued. "At Columbia College, we understand the "unique needs of military learners. We know how challenging it can be to attend college while juggling family and work obligations, so we have structured a program that makes college as convenient as possible."

Columbia College offers an accelerated program that features small classes, experienced faculty and academic excellence. Students may take eight-week classes five sessions a year starting in August, October, January, March and June.

Columbia College offers a variety of military-friendly features and programs. The college is a charter member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOCAD, SOCNAV, SOCMAR, SOCGUARD and SOCCOAST), which provides degree plans and networks for the military and their families. In addition, the college's transcript evaluators have specialized knowledge of military credit. Columbia College is a participating school in GoArmyEd, follows American Council on Education guidelines and awards transfer credit based on CCAF, AARTS, and SMARTS transcripts and other military experience.

Columbia College, including the new campus at Fort Sill, is a top-tier, coeducational liberal arts and sciences college offering associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. The college is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, is a member of the North Central Association and is nationally ranked by U.S.News & World Report, Geteducated.com and Princeton Review.

The college home campus is located in Columbia, Mo., and was founded in 1851 as Christian Female College, the first private women's college west of the Mississippi River to be chartered by a state legislature. The college changed its name in 1973 to Columbia College and opened its doors to men and women, with a special emphasis on serving adults and all branches of military learners.

Today, Columbia College serves 25,000 students worldwide through its 32 Nationwide Campuses, Evening Campus, Day Campus, Online Campus and Graduate Studies. The college is known for balancing academic excellence with financial value.

For more information about the new Columbia College campus at Fort Sill, please call Garland Berry, director of Columbia College-Ft. Sill at (580) 353-7884 or visit the campus Web site.