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.


 
 

 
square

Luke conducts first F-35 training deployment

Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A 61st Fighter Squadron F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis prior to take off April 15 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Ten F-35s from the 61st Fighter Squadron were sent to Nellis for th...
 
 

The gift of leadership

Gen. Mark Welsh III may have said it best, “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.” As the people of this nation give their children up to serve in the armed forces we as leaders need to be ready to lead them as they are...
 
 

Have faith in Air Force system

Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point home or steer a...
 

 

Sidewinders fly missing-man formation

A missing-man formation flyover took place at the Air Force Academy Cemetery April 14, to honor a fallen Airman whose remains were repatriated and laid to rest. Pilots from the 311th Fighter Squadron of the 54th Fighter Group from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, flew it. Capt. Richard Chorlins, U.S. Air Force Academy class...
 
 

Birth of a flagship

Courtesy photo An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility just before its first flight March 31. This jet is one of several Lightning IIs destined for Luke Air Force Base in the near future after flight testing. Tail number 5056 is scheduled to be the 56th Fighter...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel sanctuary. The Hiding Place exhibit will be on display 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 1 in the chapel annex. AFA golf tournament The 16th Annual Air...
 




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