Higher learning important for service members

Higher learning important for service members

by Senior Airman Kristin High, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- "If you don't invest in education, you're not developing the right type of Airmen over time." -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during an all-call at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

In today's Air Force, more Airmen are pursuing higher education, not only for personal development but professionally. Base education and training centers offer many different services to assist with this.

Here, the base education and services center has 10 individuals who assist with various aspects of military and personal growth. These individuals are responsible for educating and training all U.S. military and civilian employees on the peninsula.

"Our center offers assistance with education, training, formal training and various types of military testing." said Eric Manogue, 51st Force Support Squadron education and training chief. Exams like the Air Force officer qualifying test, Air Force reading aptitude test, Officer Training School, Reserve Officer Training Corps, U.S. Air Force Academy, Biomedical Sciences Corps and Medical Service Corps.

The center makes up only a small portion of the 51st Force Support Squadron development flight, which includes the base library. The library, in conjunction with education and services offers various course study materials to assist with studying for tests.

"The library has hundreds of books and study materials for (College Level Examination Program) and (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) testing, which can help fast track an Airman's degree plan," said Manogue.

CLEPs and DANTES tests assess college-level knowledge in many subject areas and provide a mechanism for earning college credits without taking college courses. Students can earn from three to 12 credit hours from CLEP and DANTES tests depending on the subject.

"I have taken a math and English CLEP, and I'm currently studying for my speech CLEP," said Staff Sgt. Angela, library customer. "If you study for [CLEPS], you save time that you would have been spending eight weeks inside of a classroom to learn."

Angela is currently working toward a degree in graphic design.

"I have sought assistance here with the new tuition assistance changes and managing my classes," she said. "I call the education center about twice a month to have one of the representatives there assist with getting my classes lined up for my Community College of the Air Force degree or getting classes transferred over to them."

For members of Team Osan who are working toward their degree and prefer the classroom, there will be upcoming courses in August for biology, microeconomics, history, foreign language, mathematics, marketing, psychology and more. Most classes are offered in the evenings and on weekends; however some classes are available to take during the lunch hour as well.

To assist with enrollments, the education and training center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for walk-ins. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for appointments only.

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