Friday, November 11, 2011
Charter Oak State College is dedicated to educating adults. All our services are designed with working adults in mind, and our success is measured by their ability to finish their degree and improve their workplace success. One important sub-set of that population is our nation's active military. These students are working to finish their degree while holding down a job and raising a family -- just like all our other adult students -- but they are often doing all of that while stationed overseas or at the frontlines. With the 21st century military providing advanced communication capabilities, our active military students are able to continue working on their online courses while they are deployed. For me, someone who has been promoting distance learning as a major tool for increasing access to higher education, these stories about our soldier-students are tremendously compelling. We are truly transforming education from a location to an activity -- an activity that is available wherever the student finds herself or himself. It is also true that our military members have always been at the forefront of distance education; in fact, they invented it. As a result, these students also expect us to provide a quality product. If increasing access was the first challenge for distance learning, improving quality is today's challenge. Our active military students serve as excellent evaluators for testing and improving our educational products. For a student perspective, you can meet student and military mom Diana Jones who is featured in our "Community" video. Her video spotlights the tight virtual community that Charter Oak cultivates through its online classroom, and in her piece, Diana talks about the bond she has with her fellow students, which has fostered friendships beyond the classroom. She also expresses her appreciation for the loyalty of her admissions counselor, and the quick, positive feedback she receives when she has questions -- whether she is taking courses stateside or while stationed overseas. Finally, I want to extend my gratitude to all of our military members who have served, or are now serving, our country.