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Education Center hosts open house

Senior Airman Christina Faro, 96th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, receives information from Donna Shoebrook, Saint Leo University staff coordinator, at the Education Center open house Oct. 13 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.  Four universities and one college were presented to promote awareness of the opportunities to pursue higher education on the base.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Gaddie)

Senior Airman Christina Faro, 96th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, receives information from Donna Shoebrook, Saint Leo University staff coordinator, at the Education Center open house Oct. 13 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Five on-base schools were presented to promote awareness of the opportunities to pursue higher education on the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Gaddie)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The pursuit of higher education has proven to better the chances for a service member’s career advancement, or for a well-paying job upon transition to civilian life.

An Education Center open house was held here Oct. 13 to present the five on-base schools: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Saint Leo University; University of Maryland University College; Florida Institute of Technology; and Central Texas College.  The theme was “Accessing Higher Education.”
  
  

Lisa Splinter, education services officer, said the open house promoted awareness of the educational opportunities available here.

“We focused on our on-base schools and on education as a whole,” Splinter said.  “Our goal is to foster educational endeavors for individuals who are thinking about earning a credential; an associate, bachelor or master’s degree; or completing a Community College of the Air Force degree.   There are on-base and distance learning opportunities available, to accomplish any of those goals.”

Senior Airman Zachary Cornitius, 96th Communications Squadron, is already enrolled in University of Maryland University College.  He’s majoring in computer science.

“I just enrolled this semester,” said the Houston native. “So far, they’ve been helpful.  I’ve also used the Test Center quite a bit, to complete my CCAF.”

Awareness of educational opportunities would benefit many Airmen here, according to Staff Sgt. Katy Prather, 96th Security Forces Squadron.

“I’ve received a lot of great information here,” said Prather, who is enrolled in Ashford University but was interested in what the on-base schools had to offer.  “A lot of Airmen don’t know where to start on a path to get their education.  This is a good place to come and get their questions answered.”     

Higher education has become vital to a service member’s career advancement, according to Splinter.  “We hear how important a degree is from senior leaders, when they’re putting together their promotion packages,” she said.   The Air Force encourages all Airmen to participate in on and off-duty education, she added.

Splinter said higher learning benefits service members in areas such as critical thinking and problem solving.  A degree increases the chances of landing a better civilian sector job, she added.

“We also strongly advise our service members to take advantage of the tuition assistance the military offers,” Splinter said.

For more information, call 882-8141.

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