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Soldier Balances Tour of Duty in Afghanistan while Studying Online at Portland State University

Portland, OR (PRWeb) March 14, 2007 -- Bryan Bolin does not have a typical job for a student working his way through college. Bolin traded life as a full-time student in Portland State University's (PSU) Criminology and Criminal Justice program for deployment in Afghanistan where he is a first lieutenant in the Oregon National Guard.

He is currently a Maintenance Control Officer responsible for the operational readiness of all vehicles, weapons and electronics for his battalion. However, while in Afghanistan Bolin is still continuing his studies at PSU through the University's new online Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

The flexibility of PSU's online Criminology and Criminal Justice program not only allows Bryan Bolin to continue his studies while in Afghanistan, but also helps him in other ways: "It was kind of a struggle to be sent to Afghanistan. One condition on my coming here was I would have to pursue my degree while I am here," said Bolin. "It worked out rather nicely that the program went online around that time."

While Bolin takes juggling his career and education to a new level, he is not the only soldier in Afghanistan going the extra mile: "It may seem that I am working miracles by going to school while I am here, but it is commonplace to see soldiers cracking open text books while on a break or studying for a test after their duties are complete. In fact I would say that all the soldiers here are doing tons more than asked of them."

The concept of earning credits toward a college degree while serving in the armed forces may seem foreign to most, but Bolin makes it sound easy: "I don't find juggling both my duties and class work all that difficult. I have Internet access in my office and in my quarters. I learned long ago how to successfully manage my time. My days are relatively simple. If it is a good day all that is going on is regular maintenance, nothing but mechanics turning wrenches. On more hectic days I am going on missions, planning missions, or a conglomeration of a dozen different things. I would say the PSU online program is flexible enough for me to effectively manage both my duties and class work."

While Bryan Bolin is in Afghanistan, he is far from forgotten at Portland State University. His contribution to the class is noted by his instructors. "Bryan is a bright student and it was enjoyable to have him in class. He was fully engaged, even though he was half a world away," said Debra Lindberg, his online instructor. "His maturity and ability to make connections between his school work and life experiences enriched the learning for all of us."

Students in Portland State University's online Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice program receive the same degree as students who attend class on-campus. However, online students can access the great benefits of PSU's CCJ department from anywhere in the world.

For more information about the Portland State University (PSU) Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice distance education program, contact a PSU Enrollment Advisor at 866-225-7127 or visit the program Web site,

About Compass Knowledge Group (
Portland State University has enlisted the help of Compass Knowledge Group to recruit students and market the online program for the university. Founded in 1993, Compass Knowledge Group, Inc. ("Compass") located in Orlando, Florida partners with higher education institutions to create successful distance learning programs. Compass' industry-leading consultants assess institutional readiness and degree program viability. Using best-in-class marketing, recruitment and student retention services, Compass Knowledge Group introduces degree programs to the world and enables colleges and universities to succeed in the competitive online education marketplace.



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