FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - Counseling services have been scaled back at the Fort Shafter/Tripler Education Complex while center officials cope with personnel shortage issues over the next two months.

The temporary reduction in hours of assistance took effect earlier this week, according to Chrissy Morris, education services officer, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, and specifically led to the curtailment of three days' service at FS/TEC.

Education counselors will now only be on-site at Fort Shafter every Wednesday and Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, FS/TEC staffers will report to duty at Schofield Barracks' Army Education Center, where the additional bodies are expected to provide greater support in counseling, testing and learning resource center services for both North and South community residents.

Morris blamed the temporary inconvenience on a lack of manpower.

"We're basically shorthanded," she said, "and I've had no choice but to do this. Originally, I was going to do something much more drastic. Thankfully, this is all I've had to do."

Morris said FS/TEC education counselors will revert to their normal schedules beginning March 19. In the meantime, all other services will continue to be available at the center during normal business hours, she added.

Morris wouldn't venture to guess how many people will be affected by the changes, but indicated she didn't think the impact would be too great for those who frequent the FS/TEC.

"The action is really up at Schofield, as I have people up there waiting for inordinate amounts of time," she explained. "Tripler's a much smaller center, and they don't get nearly the same number of people there that they do up here. At the Fort Shafter/Tripler center, they might see five or six people, as opposed to up at Schofield, where they might be seeing 50 or more.

"If it was near the time when students are typically registering for college, then yes, it would be busy," Morris added. "But I don't think it's going to impact them too greatly over at Tripler. At least, I hope it doesn't."

Education centers offer Soldiers and their family members numerous opportunities for reaching their post-secondary educational goals, with various classes available to further a student's degree or area of interest.

Counselors provide guidance through a careful review of previous academic accomplishments, as well as assist students in qualifying for tuition assistance funds.

Page last updated Wed January 27th, 2010 at 18:06