Monday, January 21, 2019

Ed Center can help anyone, from high-school to second-career

Belvoir Hospital opens Joint Medical Readiness Center

Barden Education Center’s TaMekii Clark-Warrington, site manager, wants the Fort Belvoir community to know that Barden is there to help people with their educational goals.

The center offers a variety of services and resources and is open to active-duty Service members; Reserve; National Guard; civilians; retirees and their family members. Also, students attending Mount Vernon High School can take college credit courses through Northern Virginia Community College at Barden, Clark-Warrington said.

Mary Pat Mabeus, Central Michigan University’s assistant director/enrollment — Eastern United States, Fort Belvoir and Virginia, said her college offers students onsite college courses and transfer credit evaluations and help throughout their college career with CMU.

Having onsite courses provides for those who live or work on Belvoir, she said.

“The majority of our students are looking for career progression,” she said. “They want to enhance their opportunities for promotion or a new career move. Education is one of the best ways to prepare for a career move.”

Another large segment Mabeus sees are those who are established in their careers but want to do better by continuing their education.

Shakirra Payne-Felder is a 10th grader from a military family who is exploring her college options. She went to Barden to understand what she needed to know about attending college.

“I want to make sure I understand how to go about getting certain degrees ... and how you can balance your budget for when you’re paying tuition,” she said.

Another person using Barden’s resources is Spc. Carvarius Waitson. He recently got out of Advanced Individual Training and is in-processing. He uses the computer center at Barden for computer access and to do paperwork.

“It’s very convenient,” he said. “You just sign in and get on a computer. There’s not too much noise here.”

With six colleges and a national testing center at Barden, Clark-Warrington said they have many services available.

“They shouldn’t have to go off post,” Clark-Warrington said. “We have everything here.”

Barden issues needs-assessment surveys to figure out what its population needs, in terms of which classes to offer and how often. Besides taking advantage of Barden services, Service members should also take advantage of the newly updated Tuition Assistance Policy.

The policy, Clark-Warrington said, eliminates the previous restrictions set in place before a person could use tuition assistance.

“By pursuing their education, (Service members) are able to obtain the degree or field that they really want to go into,” Clark-Warrington said. “A lot of them may be in an MOS because of whatever they tested into, but they also have aspirations to do other things. So by utilizing the free tuition assistance, it provides them that foundation.”

For information about Barden resources, visit the center at Bldg. 1017, Room 148, 9625 Belvoir Road. You can also call 703-805-9264, 9268 or 9267.

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