Another college is opening up a classroom at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
Pennsylvania State University is bringing degrees in military-related fields to the Corps' West Coast recruit depot. Classes are expected to start in the fall semester, and students will have both face-to-face and online instruction.
Penn State is offering master's degrees of professional studies in homeland security, supply chain management, and human resources and employment relations. The university is also offering a bachelor's degree in labor and employment relations.
Some individual courses in the programs will have a mix of classroom and online instruction, said Ginny Newman, the assistant director of Penn State's Defense Sector Education. The balance of in-person and online learning will vary between programs, but the bulk of the coursework will be online, she said.
"It's really going to be a handful of courses" in the classroom, she said. "The idea with the face-to-face is to help students who are not comfortable with the online environment be comfortable online."
Penn State is joining National University, Columbia University, and San Diego City College at MCRD San Diego. Newman said Penn State chose the Marine base because of the high concentration of military personnel and veterans in the San Diego area. Classes are open to the public, but service members have first priority, Newman said.
This spring, MCRD facilities will be converted into a classroom for 30 students and an administrative office and they'll be decorated in blue and white, the school's colors. Penn State said 17 percent of the 10,805 students are affiliated with the military, Newman said.
Civilians who attend will need valid identification, vehicle registration and proof of insurance to get into the installation to attend classes. A student ID is also recommended, a spokesman for the base said in an email.
Tuition varies between programs, ranging from $535 to $975 per credit, plus fees.
This is the first time that the school has combined its World Campus online education program with in-class instruction. Other World Campus programs are entirely online. If the project at MCRD San Diego is a success, they might replicate it elsewhere, or expand at the Marine Corps installation, Newman said.
"This is our first venture into this. We're going to wait and see if we're successful with what we have," she said.