Clark State Community College has partnered with the 178th Wing to offer classes to airmen on-site at the base location in Springfield, Ohio.
“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.”
The partnership with Clark State will provide service members the opportunity to earn credits towards a degree from the Community College of the Air Force.
“We definitely expect additional classes to be offered here on base,” said Col. Gregg Hesterman, the 178th Wing commander. “Most classes will be tailored to ensure our airmen have an opportunity to complete their Community College of the Air Force associate degree, but we could offer others if there is a demand for them.”
Clark State was again designated as a Top School in the Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) Guide to Colleges & Universities, measuring best practices in military and veteran education. Clark State also offers a tuition discount to active service members and their spouses.
In 2015 Clark State was designated as a Purple Heart Campus and was approved by the Community College of the Air Force as a General Education Mobile (GEM) partner. Clark State was the first community college in Ohio to receive this approval. The College also features a Veteran’s Lounge.
Additionally, Clark State is active with the SALUTE – Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute, Excellence - national honor society recognizing and honoring the service and scholastic achievements of student veterans.
“Having a partnership between Clark State and the 178th is a tremendous asset for all involved,” said Hesterman. “This will allow our airmen to gain a little extra margin in an already busy life by having the ability to complete courses right here on our installation.”
Chief Master Sgt. Heidi Bunker, the 178th Wing commander chief, said she expects to see high demand for oral communication, written communication and mathematics courses. Other options would include offering humanities and social sciences classes.
“Strategic partnerships and airman development are key drivers for us at the 178th Wing,” said Bunker. “This partnership helps us to do both, we will build a new strong connection within our community as well as help airman continue their personal and professional development. It's a win-win.”
Bunker said the ANG Base is fortunate and excited to partner with Clark State. “They are a perfect fit for us due to their continuing commitment to educating military, reservist and veteran students. They have a rich history of being a military-friendly college, and they were the first college in Ohio to be designated as a Purple Heart Campus. This partnership will create a positive ripple effect that will impact many generations to come.”
The partnership between Clark State and the Springfield Air National Guard Base will commence on September 8 at 10 a.m. with a formal signing on the base. Registration will kick off at 11 a.m. for service members.