U.S.

June 20, 2013

Official explains tuition assistance quality assurance program

Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFNS)  – To increase stewardship and optimize service members’ educational experiences, Defense Department officials have developed a multifaceted quality assurance program to improve tuition assistance, the assistant secretary of defense for readiness and force management said on Capitol Hill June 12.

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee, Frederick E. Vollrath said new policies will mandate that all participating institutions sign a memorandum of understanding requiring them to adhere to specific principles of excellence.

“This will help end fraudulent recruitment on our military installations … address other predatory practices by bad academic actors and provide students with personalized, standardized forms outlining costs, financial aid and outcome measures,” Vollrath said.

The memorandum also requires that military students have access to a streamlined tool to compare educational institutions using key measures of affordability and value through the Veterans Affairs Department’s E-benefits portal.

Vollrath told the panel that 3,100 institutions and more than 1,050 subcampuses have signed the memorandum of understanding. He also reported that DOD is part of an interagency team that is finalizing the development and implementation of a centralized complaint system to resolve concerns raised by students receiving tuition assistance.

The departments of Veterans Affairs, Education, Justice and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will have access to all complaints as they work to resolve issues, he added.

“Underpinning this effort is the requirement that all post-secondary education participating in the Tuition Assistance Program must be accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education,” Vollrath said.

Meanwhile, he said, the Defense Department will continue to provide lifelong learning opportunities through off-duty, voluntary education programs, noting that each year a third of service members enroll in post-secondary education courses leading to associate’s, bachelor’s and advanced degrees. In fiscal year 2012, more than 286,000 service members enrolled in nearly 875,000 courses, and more than 50,000 service members earned degrees or certifications, Vollrath reported.

“All service members enrolled in the voluntary education programs are nontraditional students, in that they attend school part-time while they are off duty, taking, on average, only three courses per year,” Vollrath said. But military missions, deployments and transfers frequently impinge on the troops’ ability to continue their education, he noted, adding that this often results in breaks of months, or in some cases years between service members taking courses and completing their degrees.

With that in mind, colleges and universities are delivering more classroom instruction online as well as on military installations around the world, Vollrath added.

“There are no geographical confines,” he said. “Courses are offered aboard ships, submarines and at deployed locations such as Afghanistan — this is the kind of instruction our service members want.”

Vollrath also said more than 76 percent of the courses taken last year were delivered through distance learning. Still, he stressed, the rigors of military service will not relax strict requirements in place for participating service members.

“Prior to enrolling in courses using tuition assistance, service members must establish an educational goal and a degree plan,” he said. An educational counselor must review tuition assistance requests outlined in the approved degree plan. Service members who either fail or do not complete the course must reimburse the DOD for tuition assistance received for that course.

“Service members failing to maintain a 2.0 undergraduate grade-point average or a 3.0 graduate GPA must pay for all courses until they raise their GPA sufficiently,” Vollrath explained. “Our voluntary education program is a key component of the recruitment, readiness and retention of the total force – an all-volunteer force.”

To further illustrate the value of the education program, Vollrath cited an example of retired Senior Master Sgt. Eric Combs, who entered the military with a general education development certificate before earning his Community College of the Air Force and bachelor’s degrees with tuition assistance while on active duty. After retirement, he went on to earn his master’s degree in education in 2005.

Upon his retirement, he participated in the Troops to Teachers program and earned acclaim with his selection as the Ohio Teacher of the Year in 2006. He now serves as a principal in the public school system.

“The skills he learned and the education he received while serving in the Air Force ultimately benefited him, the Air Force and the nation,” Vollrath said.hold. I wasn’t perfect at it, (to which my family can surely attest), but I became very aware of its importance which helped me keep the influence I was radiating squarely on my radar.

In John C. Maxwell’s “Learning the 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader,” he quotes psychologist William James who says, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind.” So positive radiation doesn’t only exist in the heart, but also in the mind.

Over time, a leader’s influence will start to be reflected in the composite attitude of those in their sphere of influence. I think this is why it was stressed to us that “you can never have a bad day.” In the realm of mission, leadership and community, the influence we radiate plays a larger role than one may realize. It says what you’re not saying. It is perceived and absorbed with or without your intention. Your personal radiation or influence is undertone to all you do, say, are, accomplish, lead and direct. How is your leadership radiating?




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


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystie Martinez)

Summer burnout

Langley Air Force Base, Va. — Some of the very things we enjoy during the summer can also wear us down. Juggling work, family schedules, vacation times, and outdoor squadron activities can take a toll. The chronic engagem...
 
 

Who receives your SGLI proceeds – your spouse or your former spouse?

JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON — Payment from a Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance policy may be the largest sum of money that your family receives if you die while on active duty. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your SGLV 8286 form – the SGLI Election and Certificate – is accurate and up to date....
 
 

Voting now open for American Airman Video Contest

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — Voting for the 2014 American Airman Video Contest is now open and runs until Aug. 22 at 3 p.m. CDT. The contest launched July 1 for all total force Airmen to showcase their Air Force stories in short selfie videos. “Every Airman has a story — and smartphone...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar)

Proper flag display honors nation’s history, ultimate sacrifices

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — From front yards to the top of the White House, people have flown U.S. flags as emblems for sacrifice and independence. But to honor Old Glory, they must display it with proper eti...
 
 

AETC commander: 162 FW’s contribution ‘cannot be overstated’

The Tucson Air National Guard 162nd Wing hosted Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, Aug. 2-3 during the August Unit Training Assembly. Rand said he gained more knowledge of the unit’s diverse mission outside of the its F-16 schoolhouse to include the 162nd Wing’s support to the Air Force Reserve Test Center,...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

Davis-Monthan gets mentally fit to fight

The 355th Fighter Wing participated in the Comprehensive Airman Fitness Day, Aug. 11. CAF is a lifestyle taught to strengthen an Airman with four domains: mental, physical, social and spiritual. This quarter’s CAF Day focuses...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin