Grand Forks Education Center 'Best in AMC'

Grand Forks Air Force Base Education Center staff.

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. – The 319th Force Support Squadron Education Center has added another notch in its belt of award winnings.

Air Mobility Command has bestowed its Nathan Altschuler Award for Outstanding Education and Training Program on the center for the second time since 2010.

"We deal with [Professional Military Education], civilian training and upgrade training in addition to off-duty education," said James Stallard, 319th FSS education services officer.

Among the statistics that garnered the award for the center was the highest per capita graduation rate for the Community College of the Air Force in Air Mobility Command and the fourth highest rate across the entire Air Force.

Stallard cited the drive he and his staff have to encourage people on Grand Forks Air Force Base to complete or begin their higher education.

"We're very passionate about what we do," said guidance counselor Kim Reiter. "We show them it's maybe a little easier than what they think."

Even in an era of budget cutbacks, the education center staff doesn't cut corners when it comes to customer service.

"We feel it's important to have that face-to-face contact to make sure the process goes smoothly, so students avoid collection notices for their [tuition assistance] or taking unnecessary courses," Stallard said.

Stallard said the education center does more than just help Airmen earn college degrees for use when they leave the service. Making sure Airmen receive the training to complete their missions is also part of the center's duties and can sometimes be overlooked.

Ed Prasnicky, the center's formal civilian training technician, is responsible for maintaining the base training side of the education center's operations. He works with unit training managers to ensure Airmen receive their Career Development Courses and attend the NCO Academy, as well as provide training materials to civilian employees.

"We try to get the right people to training on time," Prasnicky said.

Having once again been recognized as the best in Air Mobility Command, the education center staff has no plans to rest anytime soon.

"We plan to get out more," Stallard said as he described plans to use the CCAF advance standing list to pinpoint Airmen who are within a few credits of earning their degree and contacting them.

Individuals interested in their education options, whether personal or professional, can contact the Education Center at 701-747-3316.

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