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Tyndall education center offers education fair for spouses

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The Tyndall Education Center hosted an education fair aimed at benefiting military spouses and children at the base library Aug. 9, 2018.

The education fair was open to everyone, but was focused on opportunities available for military spouses.

“This event allows spouses to learn about an array of options available,” said Stephen Mihal, 325th Force Support Squadron chief of education and training. “We have representatives from the three schools who work on base; Gulf Coast State College, Troy State University and Embrey-Riddle Aeronautical University.”

The schools spoke about the wide variety of classes they offer and opportunities, such as scholarships, Mihal added.

“This idea was born when the colleges on base wanted to collaborate on an event,” said Emily Copeland, 325th FSS library technician. “They felt that the spouses were an underrepresented geographic. Airmen have the GI bill and Tuition Assistance, and obviously the children are involved in all sorts of back-to-school events, but spouses can be overlooked. They wanted to make sure the spouses were aware of their education options.”

The event was held at the same time as the library’s weekly story time, freeing parents to participate in the education fair.

“We are tying it in with the library’s story time with hopes that the parents are able to come over and talk about education opportunities while their children participate in story time,” Mihal said. “The hope is to give the folks who are busy with their children all day the opportunity to get some educational benefits as well.”

Not only was the education fair beneficial for parents, story time included books on career paths for children.

“For story time, we read a number of stories geared toward the sort of careers children could pursue,” Copeland said. “We also did fun songs, dancing and crafts.”

During the event, spouses were given information about the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program, which helps military spouses pursue licenses, certifications, and associate degrees necessary for gainful employment in high demand, high growth portable career fields and occupations.

The program offers all military spouses counseling to assist with career exploration, education and training, career readiness and career connections.

According to a flyer passed out at the event, financial assistance is offered to spouses of service members on active duty in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2 and O-1 to O2 who can start and compete their course work while their spouse is on Title 10 military orders.

For more details on the MyCAA program visit https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa

For more information on opportunities for military spouses, contact the education center at (850) 283-4285.