MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- The station's Learning Resource Center is now open and offers a new mode of education to Marines, family members and department of defense employees.
The LRC boasts 28 computers and is a workstation for anyone wishing to further their education through the Marine Corps Distance Learning Program (DLP).
Through the use of the LRC and its online learning program, Marines may now speed up their training and education significantly. For example, instead of doing paper-based Marine Corps Institute (MCI) courses that have to be mailed out and often take weeks to get results, Marines may now take these courses on-line and see their master personnel file updated within 48 hours.
"I think this is an outstanding opportunity," said Capt. Charles Buckley, station communications officer. "The program (DLP) has been around the Marine Corps for a year and a half, and now Yuma has come on-line with it."
Buckley said he hopes to see Marines taking advantage of the DLP for several reasons. He said not only does the online program offer a variety of Marine Corps specific courses, but it also offers courses through two commercial vendors -- SkillSoft and SmartForce.
"The SkillSoft courses that they have in [the LRC] on business leadership, computers and information systems are outstanding courses that are highly sought after in the private sector," said Buckley.
According to Buckley, the programs are more convenient than attending a formal school.
"It allows the Marines, family members and DOD employees to get in at their own pace and not be restricted to a classroom schedule like they would be in an instructed course," explained Buckley. "They can go to the Learning Resource Center on their own time and finish as they can."
Buckley went on to say that the DLP is World Wide Web capable and classes can be accessed from any computer in the world at marinenet.usmc.mil.
However, for those without regular access to a computer, the LRC has a networked classroom available. It also provides free internet access, computer usage for on-line college courses, research, reports and other educational needs.
A full time civilian employee is available at the center. She is trained to help those wishing to use the DLP.
"I've been working for two weeks training and getting familiar with the courses," said Rebecca Feldhauser, the LRC's full-time computer monitor. She said she would be glad to explain how the DLP worked to anyone who wanted to stop by the center.
"Everyone should feel free to come during the week from noon to ten at night," said Feldhauser. "It's basically a self-help program, but you can come up anytime, and I'll be happy to answer any questions."
The LRC is in the Information Technologies classroom located on the second floor of building 328.