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Developing the force through education

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isaiah J. Soliz
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force relies on Airmen as the driving force behind providing responsive and effective Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power. Successfully doing so is made possible by having a highly specialized and competent workforce through training, education, and leadership experiences.

Fulfilling the Air Force priority of developing the force, The Tyndall’s Education office, in conjunction with the Air Force Virtual Education Center, is designed to support Airmen in their efforts to further their education.

“Our mission is to serve military members, civilians and dependents with their education needs,” said Dawn Matera, 325th Force Support Squadron Force Development Center education services specialist. “We are here to promote, inform and assist with many aspects of education, both professional and personal.” 

The Tyndall Education office is home to an array of services and programs ranging from counseling services on both Community College of the Air Force degrees and civilian degrees, to commissioning programs and Enlisted Professional Military Education testing.

“The education office provides counseling services on CCAF and civilian degrees, tuition assistance, the Montgomery GI Bill, College Level Examination Program tests and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support Subject Standardized Tests, commissioning programs, Career Skills Program, EPME, career development courses and weighted Airman promotion system testing, financial aid, Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative program, and much more,” Matera said.

The Air Force is committed to developing Airmen both as individuals as well as future leaders. Enlisted Airmen are introduced to EPME periodically throughout their career through institutions like Airman Leadership School and Non-Commissioned Officer Academy. EPME introduces Airmen to appropriate institutional competencies at specific milestones throughout their career.

“There are many studies which talk about the benefits of higher education; increased opportunities, healthier practices, economic stability, greater knowledge, more security, and longer life spans,” said Master Sgt. Nicholas Kehoe, 325th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School commandant. “The pursuit of education should be a lifelong venture.”

The Tyndall Education office is partnered with Gulf Coast State College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Troy University by offering on-base programs to better aid Airmen in pursuing their education desires.

“GCSC has some exciting things that are taking place during the 2018 spring semester,” Matera said. “GCSC will offer two classes “C” English Composition II March 1 - May 4 and a Power Week End Western Civilization II, March 10, 11, Apr 7, 8, 28, 29. Summer 2018, GCSC will be offering courses in the [325th] Logistics Readiness Squadron room 116 on the flightline.”

Matera continued, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide is known for more than just world-class aviation and aerospace programs. ERAU offers bachelor and master degree options ranging from Project Management to Engineering. Terms are offered every month and each term is 9 weeks in length. ERAU offers five Category I AU/ABC degrees (aeronautics, technical management, logistics and supply chain management, interdisciplinary studies and emergency services), select CCAF degrees will guarantee 60 transfer credits into these specific AU/ABC options. Along with Category I AU/ABC programs, ERAU offers new programs in engineering, homeland security, and programs partnered with Microsoft with specializations in cloud applications developer, server and cloud administrator and cybersecurity administrator.

“Troy University at Tyndall specializes in 9-week class terms through their online delivery format,” Matera said. “Among popular offerings is the TROY Masters in One Year program which features a master of science in management with a leadership concentration. Because TROY’s capped tuition rate matches the amount covered by Military Tuition Assistance, military members will have no out of pocket tuition costs at TROY. As tuition is capped at $250 per semester hour, the scholarship will save military spouses and dependents between 25 and 50 percent of tuition costs for undergraduate and graduate courses.”

EPME and general education are two parallel paths of pursuing higher education that can benefit one another, Kehoe added. EPME utilizes some of the same lesson concepts you will find in general education, but vectors them in a manner that supports the Air Force’s Core Competencies. General education will cover some of the lesson concepts taught in EPME but will also include alternative concepts, which can give you an alternative or more in-depth understanding of a given subject.   

“Knowledge combined with experience is true power,” Kehoe said. “Airmen will get experience through on the job training, but with EPME and the pursuit of higher education we can channel that experience to leverage the unlimited potential of today’s Airmen.“

For more information about the Tyndall Education Office, contact (850) 283-4285.