Education, direction: What is available to Airmen?

Air Force photograph by Senior Airman James Hensley

When it comes to education, there are many unknown variables and various directions Airmen can take to further themselves in their career or future.

There are resources available at the education office located on the third floor of Bldg. 1150 whose goal is to help alleviate some of the concerns Airmen may have when it comes to seeking a higher education.

“After an Airman finishes their CDCs, they can come see us, tell us what their needs are and we try to help mold their education pathway to what they need,” said Sandy Cooper, 56th Force Support Squadron education services specialist at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. “One of their options include completing their Community College of the Air Force associates degree in their Air Force career field.”

The staff at education office is there to help guide Airmen through the entire process regardless of what their education goals are.

“We don’t choose schools for people, we give them options,” Cooper said. “There are hundreds and hundreds of schools that I have information on. Sometimes Airmen have really unique needs and have degrees for jobs that I have never heard of. I’ll do some research on schools to fit them and will hopefully be under their tuition assistance limit which is $250 per credit hour.”

They also help Airmen determine whether an online or traditional classroom best suits their needs. Not only will they research schools with Airmen, but they will help research financial assistance opportunities if the school goes over the tuition limit, Cooper explained.

“Your tuition assistance will help pay for one each associates, bachelors, and master’s degrees,” Cooper said. “Whatever the Airman’s individual need is, we try to work with them to help meet their goals.”

To help facilitate each Airman’s individual needs they are given the opportunity to meet with an advisor one-on-one.

“When we first sit down we evaluate any previous college experience,” said Elton Madden, 56th FSS education services specialist. “From there, we teach them how to validate those previous experiences to apply towards the CCAF degree or a civilian equivalent degree. We get involved with closing the gap between any prior education an Airman may have and what they are looking for.”

The education office takes walk-ins and appointments Monday through Friday from 0800 to 1600. For more information, contact them at 623-856-7722.