Brandman News

Naval Base Kitsap’s Navy College remains open while others close

September 28, 2016 by Margo Myers

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-26-31-pmThe Navy is closing 16 of 20 Navy College offices around the country on Oct. 1 due to budget cuts, but Bangor Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, Washington, will keep its Navy College staff one more year. The Navy College offices at  Everett and Whidbey Island bases, also in Washington, will close.

Brandman University campuses at both Bangor and Whidbey Island remain open. “We’re worried students will hear that the Navy College is closing its offices, and will think that the universities are leaving, too,” said Jennifer Perryman, Brandman University campus director at Bangor. “We are still here to serve students who want to earn their degrees, although we’re concerned about our ability going forward to communicate with sailors on base to let them know we’re here.”

Navy personnel are required to have a degree plan on file and receive counseling before getting tuition assistance. The Navy is transitioning from an in-person service for helping military personnel and their spouses get information about university degrees to an online system, the Virtual Education Center (VEC). The transition will not impact degrees offered at the resident colleges remaining on base at Bangor, including Brandman, Southern Illinois University and Vincennes University.

“Students may have to be more diligent to get information about university programs through this transition,” said Perryman. “We are happy to talk to students and potential students about college degrees, including academic advising, college funding, and help them find the VEC, even if they’re not Brandman students.”

Brandman’s staff is well positioned to help students find answers about their educational needs, with a long history rooted in military service. Perryman, who’s been a campus director for four of her seven years at Brandman University, is a military spouse. Academic Advisor Shannon Frith, who recently marked 10 years at Brandman, served in the Army. The university One-Stop specialist, Octavia Riley, served in the Air Force.

“We are focused on making sure students get the best educational experience while using their resources wisely to earn their degrees,” said Perryman. “While the future impact of the closure is unknown, we know we’re here now, and prepared to offer our services.”

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