Southern Oregon University will offer the state university system's only distance education program for deployed soldiers beginning with fall term.

Southern Oregon University will offer the state university system's only distance education program for deployed soldiers beginning with fall term.

The self-paced program will offer soldiers the opportunity to complete four lower-level courses in military science, writing and history using workbooks, textbooks and CDs with multimedia and digital materials, the university announced in a press release this morning.

"You can do these courses in a foxhole or riding in a truck; you don't have to be connected to the Internet," said Lt. Col. Keith Ensley of the Oregon National Guard, the instructor for two military science courses to be offered the first term.

"We expect to have 30 Oregon National Guard soldiers stationed in Iraq in our first deployed soldier group," says SOU Admissions Director Mark Bottorff. "The number of classes offered will grow in winter term and, we hope, so will deployed soldier enrollment."

Bottorff said the university hopes soldiers will enroll full time at SOU when their deployments end. However, credits earned in the program also will be transferable to other colleges and universities.