BY GRETCHEN BUEHRLE
Did you know that the Lebanon Campus is not the only facility McKendree uses to offer courses to Bearcat students? Other than the main campus, there are two other campuses, and over thirteen external sites; one of them being less than 15 minutes away. For the last 44 years, McKendree has been offering various business administration and computer science degrees to military members at the Center at Scott Air Force Base (SAFB). While the Center at SAFB may not offer as much as McKendree’s main campus, the campus would still be a great place to attend for military students. After McKendree started offering courses for the military, civilians who worked on base became interested, and the program opened up for adults who are or have been active duty and/or adults with civilian-working jobs. In fact, the percentage of students has shifted; 54% of last year’s students taking courses at Scott’s campus were civilians, and only 46% were military.
With many other colleges and universities to choose from at the Education Center on Scott AFB, nearly 450 students chose McKendree to earn their degrees last year. The Center at Scott offers 12 courses a month, each in 4-6 week formats, and has classes that meet on weeknights for an average of 3.5 hours.
“We know that most of our students are working adults with a family,” said Tom Pawlow, the Associate Dean for the Center at Scott. Weekends seem to be the only free time they have to take courses, but he says he also understands their students would rather be spending that free time with their families.
Anna Jenkins, a former teacher who used to work at the Center at Scott, also seemed to understand this ideal about her students. She explained that she had worked hard to be as flexible as possible with her students in order to help them succeed. “I never let them out of class early,” she said, but when class time was being used for independent studying, Mrs. Jenkins often released her students to go to their “alternate study locations.”
“Our students often say they couldn’t have done it without our help,” Pawlow added.
The staff at the Center at Scott advises all of their students, and they receive many compliments noting how organized, hard-working and caring the staff continues to be. McKendree’s Center at Scott has 55 to 60 graduates every year.
This external site is a great opportunity for current McKendree students. Many Lebanon campus students have already taken courses at the Center at Scott every year. If students are having trouble graduating on time, or they cannot seem to fit all of the courses they would like to take into their schedule, they should try taking them at Scott. The learning experience will feel very familiar to many McKendree students because several of the Lebanon campus professors also teach courses there, and many of the classes meet at Scott as well as Lebanon. Depending on the professors and the classes students decide to take at Scott, they may never have to leave their homes.