A Career Built on Service and Lifelong Learning at UMUC

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Cheryl Harris Advanced Her Education in the Military, Now Helps Others Do the Same

Col. Cheryl A. Harris (U.S. Army, Ret.) understands the value of education. Having spent 30 years on active duty, she’s earned three degrees of her own and now helps military and veteran students expand their horizons and advance their careers through higher education.

During the Iraq War, Harris commanded the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion and 470th Military Intelligence Brigade. Along the way, she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from McNeese State University, a master’s in management from Troy State University and a master’s in strategic campaign planning and strategy from the Joint Forces Staff College. In addition, she became a certified personal and executive coach through the College of Executive Coaching. And, she did it all while rising to the rank of colonel.

For anyone considering going back to school, Harris has this advice: “Look at the bigger picture. What could be the outcome if you do this? You could get a better job. You could move up in your current job. You’ll be better informed, and you can continue to learn.”

Today, Harris doesn’t just talk about the benefits of college education. As associate vice president of Military Enrollment Operations at University of Maryland University College, Harris oversees a team of military education coordinators who provide one-on-one assistance to military-affiliated students, helping them navigate military benefits, tuition assistance and federal financial aid, as well as the challenges of balancing work, family and education.

“We work with them on a very personal level,” says Harris. “We take them from application to graduation.”

Harris’s continues to serve as an advocate for those who wear the uniform, those who have served in the past, and their family members.


University of Maryland University College was founded more than 70 years ago to serve working adults and servicemembers. We're an online state university that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in fast-growing and in-demand fields. With no-cost digital course materials in nearly every course, and locations in Maryland and at military installations around the world, we give you the opportunity to earn a respected degree from just about anywhere life takes you.

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