DoD

June 14, 2013

Official explains tuition assistance QA program

WASHINGTON — 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 Wednesday.

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee, Frederick 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 VA and departments of education, justice, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will have access to all complaints as they work to resolve issues, he said.

“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 DOD 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 associates, bachelors and advanced degrees. In fiscal 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 said.

“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 service members’ ability to continue their education, he said, 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 said.

“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 said. “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 earned his master’s degree in education.

 




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


 
 

 
141020-SMSgt-Shelly-Bailey-8x10-DW

Path to inspirational leadership evolving skillset

Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Bailey At some point in our Air Force career we will assume a leadership role. Leadership is an ever-evolving skillset that you will continue to develop throughout the course of your career. The highes...
 
 

Bridges: build, don’t burn

Have you heard the phrase “don’t burn your bridges?” This idiom is used to describe the importance of not ending a relationship on a bad note. In this case, the relationship is your military career. For example, when you build professional relationships you are networking or laying the foundation for the building of a bridge....
 
 
141008-F-HT977-005

Unaccompanied housing to be upgraded

Funds have arrived from Air Education and Training Command for unaccompanied housing to use to take care of Airmen in the dorms, from reconstruction of dorms to fixing a door knob. “With these funds we are able to maintain do...
 

 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

Notice to claimants In accordance with Air Force Instruction 34-511, paragraph 3.1.5, notice is hereby given that Airman 1st Class Wheeler Nichols is deceased. The undersigned has been appointed summary court officer for the purpose of estate settlement in accordance with AFI 34-511. All persons having claims for or against the estate should call Lt....
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

New honorary commanders inducted

Senior Airman Grace Lee Honorary commanders chat with Luke Air Force Base leaders Oct. 17 during social hour in Hangar 431 at Luke Air Force Base prior to their official induction ceremony. The honorary commander program partne...
 
 
141015-F-BI299-011

Speed mentoring hustles info to Airmen

Staff Sgt. Brianne Brown, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament technician, mentors Senior Airman Jose Resto-Sifuentes, 309th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, on the topic of “setting yourself apart” at...
 




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