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Columbia College extends to Cuba

Thursday, January 15, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:19 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Military personnel stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can now attend Columbia College without leaving Cuba. The college announced Tuesday that beginning Monday, U.S. sailors, Marines and soldiers can attend classes at Columbia College’s new extended campus at the military base.

The Guantanamo Bay campus is the newest of 30 extended campuses located in 11 states and Puerto Rico.

“Providing higher education to the sailors, soldiers, Marines and dependents stationed at Guantanamo Bay is both a privilege and a challenge for Columbia College,” said Mike Randerson, associate vice president and dean for the Extended Studies Division.

Randerson said that the military chose Columbia College because of its reputation and mix of delivery systems, both in person and online classes.

“(The military chose us) because of the fact that we have been doing adult education for the military for 32 years and we’ve established a reputation for offering the military a quality program for a reasonable cost,” Randerson said.

The campus also features a 20-seat computer lab.

About 100 students are registered for classes, with about three-fourths of those students opting for the online classes. The campus will have five, eight-week academic sessions per year, Randerson said.

The college offers five traditional, face-to-face classes in addition to its collection of over 200 online classes. Randerson thinks those numbers will grow.

Faculty members are drawn from those already at Guantanamo Bay.


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