View Full Version : Marine asks UNR to extend their distance education

04-04-06, 09:04 AM
Staff Sgt. James Arnold hopes his March presentation to the University of Nevada Board of Regents will help convince them to extend their distance education to more Marines at Pickel Meadow Mountain Warfare Training Center near Coleville, Calif.

"The regents were looking for a viewpoint from someone who had done the distance education, whether it was worth it, and I told them that if it wasn't for those courses, I wouldn't be graduating with my associate degree," Arnold said Monday.

The director of the state veteran's office requested the regents approve in June the ability for Marines stationed at Pickel Meadows to qualify for in-state fees, said Sean Sever, spokesman for WNCC.

"Many of them are attending WNCC," he said. "Half of the Marines at the base live in Nevada, which is just a few miles from the base. The other half live on the base, which is just over the state line and now have to pay nonresident fees. There are 12 people at the base who might be interested in taking the classes."

"We don't want five miles to separate those who can go to school and those who cannot, especially when the students don't have any control where they live," Sever said.

Arnold, currently on active duty with the Nevada National Guard, said he has taken 11 WNCC Web classes, which he started while stationed in Iraq in 2004.

"Distance education is a great advantage to people without transportation or time," Arnold said. "A lot of people pretty much use those two things as their excuse to not get an education, but everyone has a computer these days."

Arnold said the regents also wanted to know how distance education compared to "actual sit-down classes."

"With distance education, the tests are actually harder because you have to be able to refer quickly and know where everything is," he said.

"The interaction is good, too, because there are open chat rooms all the time. You can pose a question, and someone might say, 'Hey, try this,'" he said. "They are just as interactive. The difference is you have access to your class 24 hours a day."

Arnold's mother, Anna Arnold, said she was grateful that the program was available to her son.

"I think the distance education is a great program," she said. "When he first went to Iraq, I was afraid that he'd have to give up his education, but he was able keep up on everything, and I think it was also a connection back to the U.S. for him. I think it really helped to keep him going ... ."