LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Airmen who attend a Defense Department or Tri-Service technical school can earn their Community College of the Air Force degree sooner than once thought.
There are a few ways to check the residency box off the list of degree requirements, according to Tech. Sgt. Russell Wroten, CCAF service degree programs flight chief.
This means public affairs, postal and equal opportunity Airmen can be awarded a CCAF degree before Air-man Leadership School.
The first way to fulfill the residency requirement is to convert proficiency credit into internship credit.
“In 2006, the CCAF policy council approved a policy to award six semester hours of internship credit in lieu of six semester hours of earned proficiency credit,” Wroten said. “However, all other requirements must be met in order to do this.”
Another option is to complete courses through the Air Force Culture and Language Center.
“Three courses are available via dis-tance learning which can be applied toward the CCAF’s residency require-ment,” Wroten said. “Enrollment information for these courses can be found at http://www.culture.af.mil/culture_introcultureclass.aspx.”
Since details on degree progression can be complex in some situations, Wroten said he encourages students to work with their local education office for guidance.
“Each student’s education record is unique, so the solutions vary,” he said. “A local counselor can help determine which route is best for each student.”
Don House, CCAF academic affairs associate dean, said he strongly encourages Airmen to aggressively pursue their educational goals.
“Although the CCAF degree is primarily designed for the career Airman, every effort is made to afford young, enthusiastic Airmen the opportunity to complete the degree requirements during their first enlistment,” he said.
“Having a CCAF degree can enhance an Airman’s value to the Air Force and the nation.”Wroten agrees.
“Earning a CCAF degree early in one’s career can benefit an Airman with enhanced technical and leadership skills, stronger performance reports, better opportunities in applying for special duty assignments, recognition through the awards programs, and a head start on a bachelor’s program,” he said.
There are many great programs offered through the education office, like the Air University associate-to-baccalaureate cooperative program, Wroten said.
“Through the AU-ABC, more than 1,000 enlisted members have earned bachelor’s degrees,” he said. “Of those graduates, 15 went on to receive a commission as an officer.”