Jonathan Perkins
KU Language Training Center

KU language center that trains select military personnel receives funding through 2025

Fri, 06/17/2022

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas’ designation as a Department of Defense (DoD) Language Training Center has been renewed through 2025.

The Language Training Center Program, a DoD initiative established in 2011, leverages U.S. institutions of higher education to accelerate the development of foundational or higher-level expertise of DoD personnel in strategic language and regional studies.  Currently, nine higher education institutions across the United States are designated as Language Training Centers, and KU has been designated as such since 2013.

The grant renewal will provide approximately $1.8 million in funding to KU over three years to offer language and culture courses from all of KU’s modern language departments: African & African-American Studies; East Asian Languages & Cultures; French, Francophone & Italian Studies; German Studies; Slavic & Eurasian Languages and Literatures; and Spanish & Portuguese. DoD participants in the program are enrolled as KU students and are awarded KU academic credit for their work. 

“We are honored to have the opportunity to continue working with our military partners,” said Jonathan Perkins, director of KU’s Language Training Center. “The renewal of the grant is testament to the quality of instruction provided by KU’s modern language departments and to their flexibility in offering such a broad range of languages in support of the military’s evolving mission." 

Summer intensive programs have been offered on the Lawrence campus or online since 2016, with partnerships including the Air Force Culture and Language Center, the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. This summer’s students will be able to take courses in Arabic, French, Persian, Russian and Spanish.

Language electives have been offered at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth since 2014, with KU becoming the exclusive provider of on-site language training in 2019. Courses at Fort Leavenworth this coming academic year will include beginning-level Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian.

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