Knowing your ABCs

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Norman Thierolf
  • 80th Flying Training Wing superintendent
In March of this year, Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux, Col. Jeffrey Kendall, Chief Master Sgt. Jeannie McLean and I attended the Air Education and Training Command Spring Commanders' Conference.

During the conference, we received a briefing from Community College of the Air Force Commander Col. Thomas Klincar on a new program called the Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative - or ABC - program. Many of you may have heard of or have seen different briefings and e-mails on this new program.

So what is so great about the ABC? First of all, it is another opportunity to further our education. This new program allows us to take all of our CCAF credits and apply them toward a bachelor's degree. You then complete an additional 60 credits with a particular educational institution for degree completion. When you complete all degree requirements, your degree will be from that particular school, not from CCAF.

The development of this new program shows the importance the Air Force puts on education and our enlisted force. As the "C" states, this is a cooperative program. The CCAF is coordinated with educational institutes who are participating in this program.

Another great thing about this program is that it is an online/distance learning program. That means as you move, go TDY or deploy, it should not impact your enrollment or progress toward your degree.

The new ABC is a technically oriented program focused on career development. In other words, if you are a security forces member and wanted to pursue a bachelor's degree through this program, it would be in an area such as criminal justice and apply your security forces CCAF credits toward that area.

If your educational goals are outside of your Air Force Specialty Code, then you can still have the option to pursue those goals through an accredited school, but not through the ABC program.

If this opportunity existed when I and many other senior NCOs were coming up through the ranks, I'm sure many of us would have jumped on it. This is a great opportunity to further your education, focus a degree program in the area of your career field and get your degree much sooner than starting with just a handful of CCAF credits that transfer.

I encourage you to look into this when it hits the Internet (we hope this June) and take advantage of this program.