BY UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
The university that delivers the best value in online education anywhere is expanding to meet the educational needs of career-minded airmen serving in the United States Air Force. Fort Hays State University is now a partnering school in the Community College of the Air Force’s (CCAF) General Education Mobile (GEM) program initiative. The GEM program was created to help service members earn an associate in applied science degree to advance in their military career or civilian life.
The current average graduation time for CCAF students is eight years because general education courses are usually the last taken. By partnering with institutions like FHSU with the ability to deliver high-quality, flexible online courses, the CCAF expects to reduce the average graduation time to less than four years.
Dr. Seth Kastle, an Army veteran and assistant professor of leadership studies, who serves as the university’s director of military program innovation, noted the significance of this latest military education partnership stating, “FHSU is always looking for ways to help service members advance in their educational endeavors. Joining CCAF as a provider in the GEM program gives Airmen the opportunity to access high-quality online education while keeping their costs under the annual Tuition Assistance (TA) cap. Keeping our tuition low allows service members to only use TA and save their GI Bill benefit to pursue a higher level degree later or pass the benefit along to their dependents.”
The CCAF’s Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC) is a single-point access point that eases the course selection and registration process for service members. This service facilitates academic planning across the general education curriculum and empowers the student to set and complete associate in applied science (AAS) degree requirements on a timeline in a way that allows them to balance their education with deployments, duty station changes and family commitments.
Airmen who consider pursuing their educational goals at FHSU will find the staff of the Transfer & Military Center ready to make the transition as seamless as possible. The center’s assistant director, Kelsi Broadway, said, “Every military student has a different experience, and their transcripts reflect that. One of our goals is to help streamline a student’s academic journey by taking the guesswork out of transferring, even transferring their FHSU credits to their CCAF degree. We want to be a partner in finding the path that will benefit the student in their journey now and years down the road.”
The Transfer & Military Center was established last summer to provide military-connected students with personalized services before they officially enroll, including rapid transcript evaluation and academic planning assistance. For more information about course and degree options for military service members, veterans and military-connected families, go to https://www.fhsu.edu/transfer-military-center/index