Altus AFB Education Center has a lot to offer

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Seidl
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
The education center on Altus Air Force Base offers access and guidance to a world of education.

The center, located in room 221 of building 87, is the base's one-stop shop for the Community College of the Air Force. CCAF, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, awards an Associate of Applied Science degree in an individual's Air Force Specialty Code.

The education center also hosts Western Oklahoma State College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Wayland Baptist University. These institutions offer Associates,  Bachelors, and Masters of both Arts and Sciences, with many programs and specializations to choose from.

"All 3 local schools are exceptional and regionally accredited. Each provides outstanding support to the Altus community. All schools offer the flexibility of learning in the classroom, web-based, distance learning, or ITV options with classes taking place year round with multiple start times," said Marie Law, Education Guidance Counselor.

If none of the schools on or off base meet your needs, you can always look at nontraditional learning opportunities, such as taking classes online. The education center has all the resources needed in order to find a school which works for students, helping to earn the degree so they can reach their goals.

"According to the Air Education and Training Command Senior Education Staff, 71% of the tuition assistance provided by the Air Force covers students earning their degrees through distance learning programs versus in a "brick and mortar" building. Many people find this means of learning beneficial to them because of their schedules i.e., deployments, family, or the desire to work at their own pace. However, a person must be disciplined in setting aside time to study on a regular basis to complete the course work," said Law.

Tuition assistance is another tool to use. The Air Force pays 100 percent of your tuition, with certain caps on prices, up to a total of $4,500. You can also apply for one-time professional certification through an accredited institution.

"The tuition assistance program is very useful; over $618,000 was spent so far this fiscal year for military and civilians assigned to Altus AFB," said Law.

In order to receive tuition assistance, you must have a registered degree plan with the education center or a CCAF progress report, and you must choose a civilian school to attend. Civilians can also qualify for tuition assistance under some circumstances. There are also professional military education opportunities available for civilians.

Commissioning programs begin at the education center. There are seven programs which can take an enlisted member into the officer ranks. All seven programs focus on preparing an applicant educationally for a commission in a career field that serves Air Force needs.

The education center can explain the complexities of the Montgomery GI bill and the Post 9-11 b ill. Each bill has different and shared benefits.

"It is extremely worth the effort and time to come in and learn about the GI bills because a person should make an informed, what is best for them, decision between the two programs of the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post 9/11 Bill as that decision is not revocable once it is made. A person may make an appointment to discuss the benefits and differences or they may visit the VA web site where they can enter their particular information and compare the two programs. Also if a military member is planning on transferring their 36 months of education benefits to a dependent, which is registered in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, it is better to do so early after a reenlistment or if a member is close to retirement as soon as possible as a service commitment is required in many cases," said Law.

As the first combined testing facility in AETC, the base education center provides testing for career development courses, professional military education correspondence courses, civilian college course exams, and miscellaneous exams such as United States Air Force in Europe driver's license and typing tests, by appointment. Career Development Course exams are scheduled through unit training managers while PME enrollees schedule directly with the education center office. Exams must be scheduled a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Some civilian colleges require course exams to be proctored and military, civilians, or dependents may have their exams proctored by the education center staff after completing and signing the test proctoring policy. Other options for obtaining a proctor consist of utilizing the Altus AFB library staff, a work center supervisor or someone in the chain of command, or the WOSC testing center for a fee.

"The Altus Education and Training Staff are outstanding. The Education Center is one of the best in AETC. The Staff are dedicated professionals who love what they do and want to help a person be as successful as possible in their education and training pursuits. We are prepared to provide briefings on any subject no matter the time of day or night and will tailor briefings according to organizational needs," said Law.

To access your education information online, use the Air Force Portal to find AFVEC (Air Force Virtual Education Center). The system should automatically know where you are stationed, and provide you with local education center news, as well as a number of self service options on the right hand side that can help you manage your education.

For more information, contact the Altus AFB education center, 481-6619 or email to