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CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — Area I soldiers will have access to a greater variety of college courses next year thanks to a video teleconferencing system that could eventually connect virtual classrooms throughout bases in South Korea.

The program could start as early as January, but will more likely be in place by February or March, education officials said Wednesday. Initially, the classes will be offered at Camp Red Cloud, Camp Casey and Camp Hovey. If successful, the program could spread.

The new system aims to address a problem that kept many junior and senior-level courses from being offered. Most of those classes required 10 students per class, per location; with the teleconferencing system, those ten students can now be at ten different camps.

Or, the classes could even be offered to smaller groups.

“In Area I, we have a lot of soldiers interested in continuing their education, however, it has been difficult for us to get junior- and senior-level courses,” James Campbell, Area I education services officer, said in a news release.

Area I officials said the University of Maryland University College will offer the courses; officials are working to “coordinate” with the University of Oklahoma and the University of Phoenix to provide master’s degree courses by video teleconferencing.

In the system, a teacher will sit in one classroom, able to see and speak with students in remote areas. System installation accounts for the undetermined start date, officials said.

“There are technical installation issues which have to be solved for the system to work correctly,” said Kelley Mustion, deputy director of the Army Continuing Education System for the Installation Management Agency — Korea Region.

Mustion also said plans are under way to connect students at Camp Henry and Camp Humphreys with an instructor and other students at Yongsan Garrison.

Class selection and availability has note yet been determined, but more information on the system can be found at www.ad.umuc.edu.

“This is a unique opportunity,” Campbell said. “It shows the Army is willing to go the extra mile to provide an education to every soldier.”

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