FORT KNOX, Ky. – The U.S. Army Recruiting and Retention College hosted a Continuing Education Degree Program signing ceremony here April 5.
The commandant of the RRC, Col. Carter Price, and representatives from nine academic institutions formalized an education partnership designed to support Soldiers with a multitude of degree options.
“A year ago this month, the Army’s vision to reinvest and transform our institutional education programs was put into action. Each center of excellence, college or school was required to enter at least one agreement with one university or college to identify at least one new credential,” Price said. “As you can see, what we have done here collectively is far greater than the minimum requirement.”
The Army directed the establishment of the Army University in 2015 with a key task to expand public and private partnerships with academic institutions to ensure Soldiers receive appropriate academic credit for their training, education and experience while also providing opportunities for them to pursue their education goals.
“The purpose was to expand on existing U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command schools’ institutionally delivered credentialing opportunities by identifying additional proponent-recommended certifications and/or licenses for inclusion within each MOS’s professional development model that directly support an MOS or associated military duties within the branch,” said Master Sgt. Channcey Croker, non-commissioned officer in charge of the faculty and staff division for the Recruiting and Retention College.
Colleges and universities that agree to partner with the Army develop degree maps outlining where Soldiers receive credit for training from military institutions and what courses a Soldier must take for degree completion. These institutions also maintain tuition assistance caps.
Every school in the Army is required to establish at least one partnership, but the Recruiting and Retention College cultivated relationships with nine different academic institutions – Liberty University, Western Kentucky University, University of Louisville, Southern New Hampshire University, Central Texas College, Elizabethtown Community Technical College, Columbia Southern University, Sullivan University and the University of the Cumberlands.
“Col. Price met face to face with representatives from each of the nine schools, in those meetings we concluded that each school offers something unique to sections of the CMF79 population; therefore, we are going to have a more tailored product for our Soldiers,” Croker said.
Each of these nine schools offers different degree programs and degrees of which recruiters can take advantage throughout their careers.
- Sullivan University – Associate and bachelor’s degrees in marketing, a bachelor’s degree in business, and a master’s degree in management
- Columbia Southern University – Associate degrees in general studies, business and art, and bachelor’s degrees in organizational leadership, general studies, and human resource management
- Liberty University – An Associate Degree of Arts in business, a Bachelor of Science in business (general track) and a Bachelor of Science in leadership
- University of Louisville – A bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and learning and a master’s degree in human resources and organizational development
- Western Kentucky University – An undergraduate certificate, bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in organizational leadership
- Central Texas College – Associate degrees in general studies and applied management
- University of the Cumberlands – An Associate of Science in information technology and a Bachelor of Science in information technology
- Southern New Hampshire University – Bachelor’s degrees in general studies, business studies, human resources, business and marketing
- Elizabethtown Community Technical College – An associate degree in general and technical occupational studies with a business emphasis
“To be an option for recruiters who are thinking about life after recruiting is thrilling to me because education doesn’t just transform people’s futures, it changes their lives,” said Dr. Randy Plunkett, assistant vice president of military initiatives for Southern New Hampshire University and Air Force veteran. “It provides a great opportunity for not only life after recruiting, but that whole purpose of self-fulfillment of earning a degree and then being able to apply the information even while you’re in recruiting is invaluable.”
Although the signing ceremony itself was very brief, the significance was not lost on those in attendance.
“We have always believed that the training and education we provide here at the college had value. Today these nine partners have acknowledged that value,” Price said. “They have gone beyond the “Support our Troops” slogan and have invested directly into the improvement of our Soldiers’ lives.”
As they move forward with this initiative, the RRC staff are working to establish partnerships with 10 additional academic institutions.
Pictured above: Army Recruiting and Retention College Commandant, Col. Carter Price and representatives from nine academic institutions pose for a photo after formalizing a Continuing Education Degree Program at Fort Knox, Ky., April 5. The education partnership designed to support Soldiers by offering a multitude of degree options. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)