By Fort Sill Tribune staffNovember 22, 2019
FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Nov. 22, 2019) -- Education provides one with opportunities for advancement, and subsequently a better quality of life through increased income, said Michael Dodds, Fort Sill Army Education Services Division (ESD) chief. "And, the Army recognizes the value of civilian post-secondary education; it's a critical component of leader development."
To promote educational opportunities for service members, military spouses, and the Lawton-Fort Sill community, the ESD joined the nation as it celebrated American Education Week, Nov. 18-22, with numerous activities. This year's theme is "It's a Slam Dunk."
The ESD highlighted an activity each day of American Education Week.
On Monday, the ESD conducted open counseling for the day. It's normally by appointment only because of limited resources, Dodds said.
For Tuesday, the ESD conducted a Facebook live education fair.
"We did a four-minute segment highlighting the week's activities," Dodds said. The ESD and the seven on post schools also posted videos on education topics, as well as promoting their programs.
The ESD's 2nd Annual Field Artillery versus Air Defense Artillery basketball game was held Wednesday at the Rinehart Fitness Center in front of 300 Soldiers and civilians, Dodds said.
"We had cheerleaders from Cameron University (CU), the Eisenhower pom team, refreshments, we threw giveaways into the stands, we had a half-time show, and the 77th Army Band provided music," said Dodds. "It was a fun, fun day." The ADA won the game 98-92.
At Thursday's open house at the Army Education Center, the community had an opportunity to learn about the ESD services, such as free testing for Soldiers. Visitors could also meet representatives from the seven schools here: Central Texas College, CU, Columbia College, Upper Iowa University, which offer undergraduate degrees here. In addition, Webster University, Wayland Baptist University, and the University of Oklahoma (OU) offer graduate degrees at Fort Sill.
Julia Miller, Oklahoma Troops to Teacher recruiter, provided information on her program, which assists transitioning service members to become teachers. She said there is a teacher shortage in Oklahoma across subjects.
"Really the only requirement to teach is to have a bachelor's degree and it doesn't have to be in education," she said. "They will have to complete two education courses (classroom management, and pedagogy) through Troops to Teachers, but they have three years to take those."
During lunch, free pizza, chips, and drinks were provided to visitors. OU professor Dr. Chris Sartorius also presented an information briefing on "The North Korea Threat to the U.S. and Our Allies." The room was packed with 60 people for the presentation, Dodds said.
Tish Hale, Webster University assistant director, spoke to potential students during the open house. She said Webster was also at the basketball game, and the Facebook live event.
"We are getting a lot of interest, it has been quite busy all week," she said.
Thursday evening the ESD hosted the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce members in a business after-hours event.
"We let them know that their employees with no military connection can come onto Fort Sill and take classes at our facility, and earn degrees through our on-post schools," Dodds said. "A lot of people don't know that, and we're trying to create awareness."
The week's activities concluded Friday with Stephanie Goode, CU instructor, explaining the basics of college writing, Dodds said. "There are a lot of people in general who cannot write very well … so this can help sharpen their skills."
For more information about school programs, visit the ESD in Bldg. 4700, fifth floor, or call 580-442-3201.