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College fair scheduled for Camp Ripley in April

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Camp Ripley will be the site of a college fair organized by Central Lakes College’s (CLC’s) Veterans Resource Center in Brainerd. It will be the first time the military base has hosted such an event.

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While open to everyone, the April 5 fair is targeting military veterans and high school students who might be considering service in the military because of the tuition assistance that’s made available to veterans.

The fair will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 5.

Kathy Marshik, CLC Veterans Resource Center coordinator, said the camp’s central location in outstate Minnesota and its role as a military base were among the reasons it was chosen as the site of the college fair. She explained that military personnel who leave the service sometimes have difficulty matching the income they made in the military without acquiring additional education.

Marshik, a 21-year member of the Minnesota National Guard who formerly worked in human resources and readiness at Camp Ripley, has been at the CLC Veterans Resource Center for about a year and a half. The center meets with prospective and returning veterans to provide information about educational opportunities, the application process, financial aid, veterans funding procedures and transfer of military educational credit. Marshik served in Iraq from January 2003 to April 2004.

“We were the first in the state,” she said of the Veterans’ Resource Center at CLC. ”We are probably one of the few who does so much outreach.”

She said the center has relocated from an upper level location to a site on the first floor near the entrance. It serves as an informal gathering place for veterans with a homey atmosphere, she said.

Marshik said in a statement she knows what it’s like to leave the military and seek employment in the civilian world. She said she hopes to attract a high number veterans and military to the event.

The job fair, she said, affords CLC students the opportunity to go to one outstate location and find programs that will allow them to extend their education at four-year universities. She said she also hopes military personnel take advantage of the opportunity to attend the fair.

Booths with college programs, scholarship grants, financial aid, admissions and registration information will be available.

More than 30 colleges and technical centers are already signed up to have representatives at the college fair. They include Alexandria Community and Technical College, Anoka Technical College, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Art Institute International, Augsburg University, Bethel University, Bemidji State University, Capella University, Central Lakes College, Century College, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, College of St. Scholastica, Concordia University, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Globe University Minnesota School of Business, Hennepin Technical College, Hibbing Community College, Higher Education Veterans Programs, Inver Hills Community College, Lake Superior College, Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minnesota Community and Technical College, Minnesota State University Mankato, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Normandale Community College, North Hennepin Community College, Northland Technical and Community College, Northwest Technical College, Pine Technical College, Rasmussen College, Ridgewater College, Riverland Community College, Southest Technical College, Southwest MN State University, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, St. Mary’s University, St. Thomas University, University of Minnesota Duluth, and Vermilion Community College.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or mike.orourke@brainerddispatch.com. He may be followed at www.twitter.com/MikeORourkenews.

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