Community college offers tuition discount to National Guardsmen Armories also may be used as classrooms under pact

August 20, 1998|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

Carroll Community College and the Maryland National Guard entered into an agreement last night to cut tuition in half for guardsmen who attend the school.

College and Guard officials said it was the beginning of a partnership that will combine the resources of the two institutions.

"By developing these partnerships with colleges, there's a lot of things we can do besides the tuition waiver," said Lt. Col. Milton P. Davis, an education officer with the Maryland National Guard.

"We can develop our armories as community centers and use them for classrooms for colleges to have off-campus locations," Davis said.

The agreement, signed at the monthly board of trustees meeting, makes Carroll the 13th of Maryland's 18 community colleges to offer half-price tuition to Maryland's 8,000 Guard members. The other community colleges and the four-year public institutions cut tuition 25 percent for guardsmen.

Tuition at Carroll Community College is $67 per credit hour.

The General Assembly passed legislation two years ago to create the tuition discount, and 540 Guard members are taking advantage of it at state colleges, Guard officials said.

"We promise we'll give you a disciplined student, one you'll be proud of, and we'll give you a student that's drug-free," Lt. Gen. James F. Fretterd, adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard, told Carroll Community College trustees last night.

Guard members participating in the tuition-discount program who earn at least a C are also entitled to reimbursement from the state for the other half of their tuition.

And two federal student-assistance programs offer National Guard members who attend college $208 a month and $510 a semester to help cover expenses.

The partnership between Carroll Community College and the Maryland National Guard gives the college access to the National Guard armory in Westminster and Camp Fretterd in Reisterstown.

College officials say they plan to use the Guard's interactive video education network to expand their distance-learning offerings to National Guard sites.

"We could in fact hold a class there and transmit that same class to another college that would receive it," said Karen Merkle, vice president of extended learning and innovative technology at Carroll Community College.

Two years ago, the National Guard inaugurated its interactive video education network at the Laurel Armory. The classrooms are used for Guard education and training, and for televised classes for civilian college students who do not have ready access to a college campus.

Several community colleges now offer classes at the Laurel Armory and Camp Fretterd.

Pub Date: 8/20/98

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