Columbia College–Coast Guard Island celebrates 35 years, Columbia College–Freeport celebrates 15 years

Photos of Freeport and Coast Guard Island
Columbia College–Coast Guard Island, on the San Francisco Bay, has been educating military and civilians since 1976. Columbia College–Freeport has been educating north-central Illinois students since 1996. Both are celebrating their anniversaries in March.

"These two campuses may be located many miles apart, have different histories and serve different educational constituencies," said Dr. Gerald Brouder, Columbia College president. "But they share the same passion for educational excellence as the rest of the Nationwide Columbia College campuses. I am very proud of their service to their communities."

Columbia College–Coast Guard Island, Calif.

Campus director Tom Meehan
Columbia College–Coast Guard Island celebrated 35 years of educating the community on March 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. Director Tom Meehan and CDR Rob Smith (U.S. Coast Guard, personnel services and support unit commanding officer, Coast Guard Island) provided remarks.

"It is our honor to serve the brave men and women of the Coast Guard who protect our nation's shores," said Meehan. "This celebration is just a small token of our appreciation for what they do every day."

Columbia College–Coast Guard Island was established on Treasure Island Naval Station in San Francisco Bay in 1976 to provide educational opportunities to Navy, Marine Corps and Army personnel stationed at the bay area’s many military bases.

When base reduction programs were implemented on August 9, 1996, the campus moved across the bay to Coast Guard Island and continues to serve military personnel, with a primary focus on Coast Guard servicemember education. The campus' staff works closely with the base education office to improve teaching facilities and provide the academic programs the campus community needs. The staff also actively supports such base activities as Coast Guard Day and the Coast Guard Ball.

Coast Guard Island also serves public service students from the nearby Oakland Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol, civilians and military dependents.

Meehan is well tailored to his position, having served in the U.S. Navy then in the Naval Reserves from 1970 to 1996. He taught at Saginaw Valley State University and Central Michigan University. Meehan has also worked as an information systems analyst and manager for AT&T and as a curriculum developer and instructor for Serena Software International. He is also an advocate for long-term care residents' rights and has investigated many resident rights cases.

Meehan earned an associate degree from Delta College, a bachelor's degree in English language and literature from Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan and a master's degree in English language and literature from Central Michigan University.

Columbia College–Coast Guard Island offers in-seat associate degree programs in general studies, business administration and criminal justice administration; and bachelor's degrees in business administration, criminal justice administration, psychology and general studies.

For more information on Coast Guard Island course offerings, instructors, scholarships and schedules, visit the Coast Guard Island campus website.

Columbia College–Freeport, Ill.

Campus director Beth Koeller
Columbia College–Freeport will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Wednesday, March 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. The campus is located at 2998 West Pearl City Road. Director Beth Koeller, alumnus George Benson (director of the local NAACP chapter) and Dr. Joe Kanosky, president of Highland Community College, will provide remarks.

Koeller says the campus is like a family. "We literally know all of our students by name," she said. "That allows us to provide superior customer service and establish a terrific relationship with most of the students. I am proud of the trust our students invest in us and we always try to pay back their trust with our best effort to ease their way through the rigors of college."

Established in 1996 on the campus of Highland Community College, Columbia College–Freeport was originally requested by community leaders who desired a four-year degree program in the city, located about two hours west of Chicago. Columbia College–Freeport is one of four Columbia College Nationwide campuses that it is housed on a community college campus.

Koeller, who has previous experience in management, higher education and speech pathology, was previously director of a speech therapy program at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill., associate professor at Eastern Illinois University and instructor at Parkland College and at Highland Community College. She received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Evansville and a master's in communication disorders and sciences from Eastern Illinois University. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program with an emphasis in adult education.
Columbia College–Freeport offers in-seat Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of General Studies degree programs.

For more information on Freeport, go to the Freeport campus website.

Both campuses also offer 21 associate, bachelor's and master's degrees online.