Army expands e-university

Army Secretary Thomas White: "We are meeting our goals to create technology-savvy soldiers."

The Army's virtual university for enlisted soldiers, eArmyU, met its first-year enrollment goals, providing online college courses to more than 12,000 students in 2001.

"We are meeting our goals to create technology-savvy soldiers to support Army transformation, succeed on the digitized battlefield, enhance retention and help soldiers achieve academic degrees while they serve," said Thomas White, secretary of the Army.

Launched Jan. 16, 2001, the five-year, $453 million e-learning program offers soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Hood, Texas, online education anywhere, any time. The program will expand next month to two more Army installations, Fort Carson, Colo., and Fort Lewis, Wash., and additional Army installations later this year.

An average of 4,000 soldiers signed up to participate at each installation, according to Army spokesman Paul Boyce.

The Army projects 10,000 additional soldiers will enroll through the end of fiscal 2002, bringing enrollment to 22,000, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers spokeswoman Judy Welles. The eArmyU distance-learning portal was designed and built and is operated by PwC
Consulting, a business of PricewaterhouseCoopers of New York.

Participants can continue their studies when they are sent to new installations. Soldiers are now completing classes while stationed in Australia, Honduras, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Japan, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Singapore, Germany, Korea, Macedonia, Italy and Jordan.

Two-thirds of eArmyU soldiers are pursuing associate degrees, 27 percent are pursuing bachelor's degrees, 4 percent are pursuing post-secondary certificates and 2 percent are pursuing master's degrees. Popular majors include general studies, business administration, information systems management and criminal justice.

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