January 31, 2013

DOD, USDA partner in ‘win-win’ distance learning program

Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – A new education program offers a “win-win” approach to helping military community members further their careers while aiding the Defense Department’s family support and child and youth development services, a Pentagon official said.

Barbara Thompson, director of DOD’s office for family policy, children and youth, explained the Military Academic Advancement Program to the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service.

“We were looking for a way to cement people’s skills and credentials in working with military families, as well as offering our spouses, our military members and veterans opportunities to acquire advanced education online,” she said.

Online programs are particularly useful to those in the military community, she noted, so students “don’t have to worry about losing credits as they move from location to location.”

Thompson said the Defense and Agriculture departments are partnered in the new initiative, which offers graduate-level distance education opportunities through a consortium of land-grant universities.

The program is open to military spouses, veterans, service members and civilians serving the military community, she said. Thompson explained MAAP allows such students to enroll in any of the member universities in specific distance-learning programs and take courses offered through other schools in the program.

The option of taking courses through several schools can speed a student’s progress through a graduate program, Thompson noted.

“A lot of times, you need a specific course to complete your degree, and your university may not be offering it that semester,” she said. “So you can go into this consortium of universities and find [one] that is offering it that semester.”

Thompson said master’s degree and graduate certification programs offered through MAAP focus on three areas: family and community services, family financial planning and

youth development.

“Those are three areas that we find critical to support the military family community,” she said. “So the goal is not only will our service members, spouses and veterans have opportunities to receive their education, but they can also contribute back to the military community in those fields.”

Specific degrees and certificates, she added, include a 36-credit-hour master’s degree in family and community services; a 42-credit-hour master’s degree in family financial planning, which allows the student to take the Certified Financial Planner examination; and an 18 credit-hour graduate certificate in financial counseling and housing, qualifying students to take the Accredited Financial Counselor exam.

The program also offers a 36 credit-hour master’s degree in youth development, a 13 credit-hour youth development specialist graduate certificate, and a 13 credit-hour youth program management and evaluation graduate certificate, Thompson said.


Universities participating 

in the program are:


Iowa State University

Kansas State University

Michigan State University

University of Missouri

Montana State University

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

North Carolina State University

North Dakota State University

Oklahoma State University

South Dakota State University

Texas Tech University


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


Photo by Tech Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, NC Air National Guard.

Wildfire safety

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Poor visibility, difficulty breathing and extreme heat are only a few ways to describe the sensation of being near a wildfire. Wildfires are an unstoppable force that consumes anyth...
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cheyenne A. Powers)

Soaring Heights hosts National Night Out

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Soaring Heights Communities hosted its 9th annual National Night Out event Oct. 7, 2015. The event helped educate residents about local first emergency responders. The event was int...
(U.S. Air Force photo by Amn. Nietza Reynolds // RELEASED)

Retraining offers change for Airmen

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – — There are times when Airmen that enter the Air Force may not have fully understood the job that was given to them, it wasn’t what they expected, or they knew what to expect but ...


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *