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University of Maryland extends its military ties

University of Maryland extends its military ties

University of Maryland

Not many colleges have a campus near the Demilitarized Zone.

But the University of Maryland University College does, and it will continue to have one for the next six years. The school announced Monday it signed a contract with the Defense Department to continue offering courses and programs at 50 military sites in nine countries throughout Asia and the South Pacific for all four services.

“It really means continuing as we are,” said William Berglof, director of administrative support at the school’s Asia-Pacific headquarters at Yokota Air Base, Japan. “It’s a continuation of what we’ve been doing. Obviously we’re pleased the government has reaffirmed their confidence in our ability to provide a wide range of educational programs to military and government personal and their families.”

In December, UMUC also signed contracts to teach courses in Europe and the Middle East.

UMUC has worked with the DOD since 1949 and provides both traditional classroom instruction as well as online courses at more than 120 bases in 28 foreign countries and regions, including Bosnia, the Sinai and South Korea, a press release stated. Berglof said the school could offer hundreds of courses over the Internet.

Berglof said through their partnership in the military, many of their course offerings are transferable to other schools, and they can accept many credits earned at other colleges.

UMUC began serving the Asia-Pacific region in 1956. Since then, according to the release, more than 1 million servicemembers have become UMUC alumni, including 50 flag officers.

In 2002, UMUC served more than 47,000 active-duty military and family members overseas.

Representatives are at all bases, Berglof said, with offices at large locations, such as Yokota; Yongsan Garrison, South Korea; Kadena Air Base, Okinawa; and on Guam.

“We know how to bring the programs to the military where they are,” he said. “That’s how it’s been since the beginning.”