F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
The Community College of the Air Force is the world’s largest community college that has been established to meet the educational needs of Air Force enlisted personnel.
The CCAF has partnered with thousands of schools to help Airmen get their education wherever they are. The degree plan corresponds with an Airman’s Air Force career field. For example: A security forces defender will be automatically enrolled in the criminal justice degree program.
Your CCAF degree is important for your career and personal success, so don’t delay in getting the process started.
“Start your CCAF early because once you get into your job, it’s never the right time to start,” said Coryn Davis, 90th Missile Wing CCAF advisor.
Davis said it should take about two years to receive your CCAF degree, but sometimes it takes Airmen up to ten years to complete. Often, the delay is due to deployments, temporary duty assignments and work schedules. However, these are not limiting factors with proper planning.
“When you find out you’re getting deployed or going on a long TDY, you can plan ahead to get signed up for online classes,” Davis said. “You’ll find that when you get deployed, you have a lot of downtime to complete a course.”
In order to obtain a CCAF degree, Airmen need to earn 34 credits in the following disciplines: oral communication, written communication, math, social science, humanities, program electives and leadership management military studies.
The other classes required depend on the career field, and some technical schools give more credits than others.
Davis said that most Airmen at F.E. Warren receive an average of 15 credits from technical school. Airmen also receive college credit from basic training, nine credits from Airman Leadership School and eight credits after Airmen receive their 5-skill level.
When transferring previous college credits to the CCAF, transfers are not guaranteed if the school is not accredited, or if it is nationally accredited because the CCAF is regionally accredited. Not all schools accept CLEP and DANTES credits, so Airmen should ensure that credits will transfer to the school chosen for their bachelor’s degree.
Once Airmen receive their CCAF degree, there are options to transfer those credits to a bachelor’s degree.
“If you’re worried about your credits transferring, look into the Air University Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative Program,” Davis said.
The AU ABC program establishes partnerships between the Air Force and accredited institutions to offer bachelor’s degree opportunities. Davis said the schools that participate are guaranteed to take a CCAF degree, regardless of how the credits were obtained. Visit the Air Force Education Management System (AFAEMS) on the Air Force portal to see a list of AU ABC registered schools with approved programs.
CLEP and DANTES
Airmen can also earn credits for their CCAF by taking CLEP and DANTES tests.
CLEP is a college-level examination program and DANTES is an electronic subject standardized test. Both allow you take a test for a subject to receive credit without taking a class. Most bases have this available.
To sign up for a CLEP exam, know your school’s CLEP credit policy and visit http://clep.collegeboard.org/register/exam. For military, the exam is free the first time and then $80 for re-tests. Tests are $80 for civilians plus a $20 administration fee.
Free DANTES and CLEP practice tests can be accessed at http://petersons.com/airforce and www.getcollegecredit/dsst.
Steps to success
1. If you have already earned college credit, contact your school to mail your transcripts to the CCAF. The physical address is 100 South Turner Blvd Maxwell-Gunter AFB AL 36114-3011 and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Attend a mandatory tuition assistance briefing, held every Tuesday at 8 a.m., at the education office located in building 781.
3. Apply to a school and set up an education plan with someone from the education office.
4. Study for any CLEPs or DANTES tests.
5. Track your progress in the Air Force Virtual Education Center, located on the Air Force portal. AFVEC is a one stop shop for all education-related questions.
For more information, contact the education office at 773-2117 or via email at email@example.com.