An agreement with the 178th Wing and Clark State Community College will allow airmen to earn Community College of the Air Force degrees, many of them on the base. (Ohio Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Rachel Simones)

Clark State partners with 178th Wing to offer courses on base

A new partnership between Clark State and the Springfield National Guard will allow airmen to complete courses on the base.

The 178th Wing and Clark State Community College will gather at 10:30 a.m. Saturday to finalize the deal, which will allow airmen to earn Community College of the Air Force degrees by completing many of the programs on the base. Clark State officials have made an effort to provide more convenient services to members of the military in recent years, and already offers a 50-percent discount to service members and their families.

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Local airmen will be able to register for the courses beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“Clark State strives to be as military-friendly as possible,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “We welcome the opportunity to provide classes for the servicemen and women of the Springfield Air National Guard and look forward to growing this partnership. These are our neighbors. We want them to thrive and grow as a critical economic development engine in our region.”

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The classes offered on campus will be geared toward allowing members of the Guard to complete an associate’s degree with the Community College of the Air Force. But it’s possible additional courses could be offered in the future.

“Strong partnerships make strong communities,” said Chief Master Sergeant Heidi Bunker, 178th Wing Command Chief. “Partnering with Clark State provides service members with the opportunity to advance their military and civilian careers through further education.”

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Clark State has made it a priority to attract veterans and active duty military members as part of its latest five-year strategic plan.

Clark State had previously offered a military discount to active duty military members. But last year the college extended its discount to members of the National Guard and U.S. Reserves and provided a smaller 20-percent discount for military spouses.

The community college has taken several steps to provide more support to military families in recent years. It became become one of the first Ohio schools to receive the Purple Heart Campus designation, denoting it actively supports and welcomes veterans and military members. It also installed an outdoor memorial on the campus to honor the memory of the nation’s fallen soldiers.

The new courses offered on base will likely include oral communication, written communication and mathematics courses. Clark State could also offer humanities and social sciences classes.

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