Source: AFNEWS - 27 Apr 07
MAXWELL-GUNTER AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNEWS) -- A new program developed by
Air University allows Airmen to turn a Community College of the Air Force
associate's degree into a bachelor's from an accredited university.
The Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative, or ABC, does this by establishing a
partnership with various civilian higher-education institutions to offer
four-year degree opportunities via distance learning.
As part of this partnership, participating schools and universities will accept
all of the credits earned by Airmen who have attained a CCAF degree and apply
them to a bachelor's degree related to their Air Force specialty.
"Through this program, Airmen are going to be halfway to their bachelor's with
guaranteed acceptance and guaranteed credit transfer to any school participating
in the ABC program," said Col. Thomas Klincar, CCAF commandant. "And, because
this is a distance learning program, they will be able to do this from anywhere
in the world."
The program will also make the transfer process easier for Airmen, he added.
"In the past, Airmen would apply to a college, submit their transcripts and talk
to a counselor about classes available," the commandant said. "The college would
look over the transcripts and accept some credits, but not others, and then the
Airmen would have to go through the acceptance process. This new program will
eliminate that experience."
Through the ABC program, Airmen can now use the Air Force Portal and the Virtual
Education Center to access a list of participating universities. From there, the
application process is basically point-and-click.
"There's no need to order transcripts or fill out any application forms," said
Colonel Klincar. "Instead, CCAF will electronically send an Airman's credits to
the university of his or her choice that is participating and the Airman will
receive a message saying 'Congratulations ... welcome to our program, let's get
The program not only benefits Airmen seeking a four-year degree, but the Air
Force also gains more knowledgeable Airmen in a timely and efficient manner.
"It's basically a win-win situation," said Colonel Klincar. "Individuals win
because they won't waste time or effort earning degrees and the Air Force wins
because its enlisted force will be earning career-focused degrees they can use
on a daily basis."
The program benefits the universities involved as well. There are currently
60,000 eligible CCAF graduates in the Air Force who can take advantage of the
ABC program, each of whom are the type of student universities try to attract.
"Each of our graduates is coming on board with 100 percent tuition assistance,
and they are proven, successful students who are smart and already have an
accredited degree," said Colonel Klincar. "So, universities salivate at the idea
of recruiting these students."
The ABC program has been under development for just over one year and is set to
kick off in June. Currently, there are 20 colleges offering 30 degree programs
as part of the cooperative. Ultimately, every Air Force specialty will have at
least one degree offering within the program.
More information about the program can be found by accessing the Virtual
Education Center via the Air Force Portal or by visiting local base education
Keep your eyes on this. Like many other advancements for
Enlisted growth, it would not be surprising to see this as a mandatory item in
the coming years. Yet overall, Air Force individuals leaving the service
have yet another option to become marketable in their second career.
Hopefully many recognize the benefit we have as opposed to our sister services.