FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 23, 2010) – Jerome Robinson is a retired Soldier who worked hard during his military career to attain several degrees.
On the road to his achievements, Robinson said he didn’t have access to a one-stop facility that offered various academic and educational programs and services as well as computer access.
But the Fort Lee community does.
The Multi-use Learning Facility is that place. Robinson, manager of the operation, said the MLF acts as a portal of support to those whom need the means to access their distance learning communities.
“Our primary mission is to provide support for the education of Soldiers,” he said. “Eighty to 90 percent of what we do is distance learning in nature, whether that’s providing access to the Army Learning Management System, Army Correspondence Course Program, college courses, utilization of the GoArmyEd portal and Minuteman portal for the National Guard and other learning environments.”
Although the MLF focuses on military members, it also accommodates Department of Defense civilians and family members alike.
“We encourage the use of our center by family members,” said Robinson. “For example, we have a program here called the Lifetime Learning Library. It is a series of programs on reading, writing, math and other subjects that are widely used by family members. It is used by Soldiers as well.”
To accomplish its mission, the MLF has 22 workstations, several printers and desks with sunken monitors for privacy. The workstation computers can accommodate government computer access cards for those distance learning sites that require them.
Thumb drives also also be used on the computers but will have to undergo virus scans.
The facility is located in building 6047 on Mekong Road, about 100 yards from the rear of the Post Field House. About 100 people use the facility a week, said Robinson. On occasion, entire platoon-sized elements from the various units on post will make use of the facility. Robinson said that when this occurs, he uses e-mail and other means to notify the post population that a certain time slot is reserved.
“They normally get a two-hour block on the computers,” said Robinson of units’ use of the facility. “The facility will then be open to the rest of the installation.”
Currently, Robinson is the only full-time employee at the facility. More could be hired as the post expands due Base Realignment and Closure growth projections.
“I hope manpower will increase with the expansion,” said Robinson.
The MLF serves active duty military, including active Guard and Reserve, DOD civilians, Allied military personnel and family members. Those who aren’t in uniform must show a military identification card.
The MLF operates under the Army Education Center located on Mahone Avenue. The education center is scheduled to move to a new facility in 2014, and a larger MLF will be co-located with it.