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by Shufen Lin, News Writing

This was the typical double-life of Major Nelson Chang for three years. No parties. No dating.
Then in 2003 Chang graduated from HPU, earning a Master of Arts-Teaching English as Second Language, while working at Fort Shafter. He is now working in international affairs for the U.S. Army in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Asian countries.

Military students such as Chang and David Hopper, a current motor vehicle operator supervisor, make sacrifices to accomplish their academic and life goals. Compared to students who aren’t in the military, Chang and Hopper often miss class due to their military duties and commitments and are seldom absent for other reasons.

“ The majority of military students are more serious about their courses and rarely miss lectures,” said Darrell Ames, an HPU professor and public relations director at Camp Smith. He believes military students are generally more mature than nonmilitary students.

“ They work harder than any people I know,” said Bradley, a military veteran who moves with her husband, a Navy petty officer, from duty station to duty station.

She takes care of their 3-year-old son while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business management through HPU online courses.

According to Ralph Gallogly, assistant dean for student affairs at HPU, “Military duty makes students move around the world, and the Global War on Terrorism takes students away.”

Online classes make it possible for the military students to continue taking courses while in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.

“ Instead of having the military students come down to the campus, what the Military Campus Program (MCP) does is to bring the University to them,” Gallogly said. “Military students know where they want to go in life; the average downtown campus students are still searching for direction.”

Gallogly used himself as a successful example to encourage military students. He retired from the U.S. Air Force and received a master’s degree from HPU, enabling him to make the transition to civilian life.

“ It makes a much easier transition from a military career to a civilian career if they have the degree,” he said.

The military students in the program said that HPU understands the demanding schedules of working full time, especially in the case of military personnel, and has a reputation of being flexible with the students’ other requirements. HPU offers programs that fit into their working schedule, even allowing for emergencies that may come up at the last minute.

In order to complete his degrees as soon as possible, Alan Chang, a commissioned officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, took courses at the downtown campus, Hickam Air Force Base, and online.
“ HPU has the most flexible schedule with many courses available both on and off base,” Chang said.
He received a bachelor’s degree in May 2002 from HPU and continues his pursuit of a Master’s degree in Diplomacy and Military Studies.

Tyleen Andrade, a HPU communication major student who now works as a civilian at Pearl Harbor, spent 12 years as an aviation electronics technician in the U.S. Navy. The online courses made it possible for her to go on temporary assignments and continue her education.

“ HPU was one of the only schools that saw the value of technology outside the traditional classroom environment,” she said.

She realized that the strong leadership skills and technical background cultivated during her active-duty military career, combined with her education and degree, would further enhance her position her as “a triple threat in the civilian job market.”

Because of HPU’s commitment to military personnel, MCP classes have also experienced a tremendous increase in demand. According to Gallogly, there were roughly 2,600 students registered in MCP in 2005. And, most MCP students are in the military, although civilians working for the military are also eligible to enroll in the program. Gallogly said business administration and computer science are the most sought after programs. In supporting the increased demand for MCP classes, HPU has scheduled them more frequently and conveniently for students.

According to the HPU military class schedule and the MCP students, the on-base satellite campus classes are usually longer due to the shorter semester length and more intense pace. For example, a satellite campus class can last up to four hours instead of the normal three hour class at the downtown campus. This can place an additional burden on military students, but in return, offers them a shorter semester and more opportunities to take classes year-round.
 

Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.

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