...CSU made it possible for him to pursue his education while deployed overseas.
Andrew Lawson has served in the U.S. Army for the past seven years including three deployment operations in Iraq. He recently decided to return to college to pursue his dream job – firefighting. Columbia Southern University (CSU) was his top choice because of the completely online degree programs and flexible course structures that made achieving an education with his busy military life possible. “Because I move around a great deal with my job in the military, I needed to find a college that would understand my Army responsibilities,” Lawson said. “CSU exceeded my expectations and has always showed a willingness and desire to help me continue my education.”
Lawson decided to further his education to become a better leader in the Army and to prepare him for his future after the military. He chose to pursue his bachelor’s degree in fire science in preparation for his plans to serve as a firefighter after his time in the military. The U.S. Army grants promotion points for every college credit received, and since beginning his degree with CSU, Lawson has earned more points and is now a better candidate for future promotions. “Life is too short to miss out on an opportunity to make it better,” Lawson said. “By earning my education, I am making myself better not only for my benefit, but for my peers and the country I serve.”
Having been deployed, this online
course allowed me to continue my education in the field
that I chose to do upon exiting the military. I was very
satisfied by the fact that Allied worked with me on extension
of the course so that I could effectively complete the material
due to deployment.
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
…earning his degree is preparing him for military retirement.
Douglas Schubert went into the family business –firefighting and the military. He comes from a long line of career firefighters and servicemen. His father is a World War II veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient, two of his brothers served in Vietnam and one brother is in the Marine Corps.
Currently enrolled in the associate’s degree program in fire science at Columbia Southern University (CSU), Schubert plans to become a career firefighter once he retires from the military. He spent the last 16 years serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and now holds the title of Chief Boatswain Mate. In 1992, he spent seven months on his first overseas mission removing gear leftover from war. Recently, he served two three-month tours in Bahrain training Iraqi soldiers for war.
Schubert has been involved in the fire service field for more than 20 years; mostly as a volunteer firefighter. He chose CSU because of the flexible course structures that allowed him to work towards his degree while serving in the military. Schubert plans to graduate with an associate’s degree in fire science in December 2008, and pursue a bachelor’s degree in fire science soon after.
“My college experience is already serving as a great resumé builder,” Schubert said. “I am currently applying for the position of Chief Warrant Officer, and with my graduation approaching, I feel that I am a more qualified applicant.”
Greg Smith, AF Special Operations, Iraq.
...Henley-Putnam University student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies
“As an operator with Special Operations Command, I spend the more than half of each year deployed. When not deployed, the numerous TDYs and “off station” exercises make conventional classroom participation nearly impossible. My experience at Henley-Putnam has been nothing short of outstanding as the instructors and awesome staff have adjusted to my situation and worked with me every step of the way. From the Philippines to Iraq, I’ve been able to access the virtual classrooms and gather the required study material without a hitch.
In terms of time management, going back to school was certainly an adjustment. Between my aircraft flying requirements and busy office schedule, I’ve had to prioritize how and when to get my homework complete and submitted on time. I usually spend 30-60 minutes per night on the modules and I keep plenty of notes on what I’ve read. If I have trouble meeting the suspense due to work requirements, I simply email my instructors and they work with me on adjusting the suspense according to my schedule. The most important thing is to build a plan and stick to a timeline as much as possible. It took the first term to get used to the syllabus and the rigors of distance learning but now it almost feels like second nature. I am approaching the halfway point of this degree and the courses at Henley-Putnam are interesting and relevant to today’s world. No matter what you do, work, school and family require a careful balancing act. I’ve found my system of 30-60 minutes per night just reading the material and using my notes to prepare for the quizzes has proven beneficial.
No matter what you do, signing up for school is a challenge. It requires time and patience and a desire to further one’s career and future opportunities. Distance Learning and Henley-Putnam were the right fit for me and can be for any person serious about education. The background of the instructors and their ability to tailor the material to you is unheard of in today’s busy world. I’ve spent countless hours speaking with my instructors on the course material, employment options, shared ideas, and heated debates. Every instructor has been receptive and helpful and made the adjustment to Distance Learning much easier. You’ll never know until you try…”
Clayton Smith, III
"I just wanted to take the time to have the DETC accrediting agency recognize the excellent attention, dedication and services that Southwest University gives to their students. I for one can only speak for myself, when I say that the school is amazing. The instructors pay close attention to their students and will answer any questions almost immediately. If I have a question regarding an assignment or just need help period, I’m usually helped right then and there or the next day. Southwest university is flexible and they understand the strains that a soldier has to go through on a day to day basis. I usually don’t take/have the time to write comments anywhere because I’m just too busy. But Southwest University should be recognized as a prestige university/college. I currently am coming to an end with my studies and am completely happy with the results and the learning experience. I feel and am completely confident that I can take what I have learned and use it in real world situations."
Being in the Navy, the home study program was effectively
developed wherein I was able to complete the course while
my ship was deployed. I recommended the course to several
of my shipmates onboard the ship.
James Smith, Martinez, GA
I found Allied to have a very good customer service
department. I am in Iraq, and they are working very hard,
as well as keeping me informed with everything that needs
to be accomplished.
Romeo Fulinara, San Diego, CA
“I would love to talk about my experience at ILM. I truly attest to the great support I receive since I am always deploying of fill some other mission requirement as I am doing now. It’s the support I receive from ILM that has allowed me to continue pursing my Logistics Education developing in my profession.”
Capt. Michelle Whitfield, United States Air Force