Airmen can now apply their Community College of the Air Force credits toward a bachelor's degree from a variety of universities and colleges. This can be done through the Air Force Virtual Education Center which links a prospective student to the new Air University Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative program.
The vision of the Air Force is to provide distance learning and bachelor's degree opportunities for Airmen, and the AU-ABC program aligns with this Air Force vision, said Bettie Varnado, CCAF chief of media and distance learning. It also meets AU's near-term goal of providing enhanced educational opportunities for our enlisted force.
The Air Force Portal acts as the gateway to the AU-ABC program, which allows students to do everything they need to online, Ms.Varnado said.
"Those utilizing AU-ABC can do all academic administrative functions online, to include virtual counseling and applying for tuition assistance," she said. "We are thrilled that we were able to set up the program at no additional cost to the Air Force."
To participate in the AU-ABC program, registrants must be active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard. However, degree requirements can be completed after a member retires or separates from the service.
"A benefit for students is the binding degree completion contract the student enters into with the college or university," she said.
"This locks in the transfer credits and remaining degree requirements. It doesn't matter where the student is located. They can even be deployed and still work on their degree online."
Students use their Common Access Cards for identification and go to the Air Force Portal to access the AFVEC, which was developed through a partnership between the Air Staff and CCAF. Once there, they click on the AU-ABC link that brings up information about all AU-ABC programs.
"The Airman then checks the list for their Air Force Specialty Code, clicks on that and all programs for their AFSC will come up," she said. "They can then open a course offered by a participating college or university and will get a degree plan that shows the required credits for the course, the CCAF credit transfer and the remaining credits needed to complete their degree."
College and university homepages are also linked to the AU-ABC page and can be brought up to familiarize the student with any of the participating schools. All information about admissions, AU-ABC enrollment and other AU-ABC program information is available on the site.
Currently, there are 71 bachelor's degrees offered by the colleges and universities involved in the program that cover every CCAF degree program. Regular visits to the AFVEC will help keep students apprised of all news and updates to AU-ABC, and will allow them to view informational resources on the program.