Air Force Members Rise to the Challenge with Help from Delaware Tech

WILMINGTON – On February 6, 2014, the Delaware Air National Guard recognized members of Delaware Technical Community College at a ceremony at the New Castle Air Base. The ceremony celebrated the successful partnership between Delaware Tech and the 166th Airlift Wing to offer classes at the Delaware Air National Guard during hours convenient for guardsmen.

The Air Force is the only branch of the military that offers an associate degree to its members and a Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) degree is now a requirement to obtain Senior Master Sergeant and Chief Master Sergeant ranks within the United States Air Force. Finding the time to complete the CCAF degree remains a challenge to Airmen who are already juggling work and family responsibilities.

To address these challenges, Delaware Tech brought its programs and services directly to the Airport with a pilot program in fall 2013. Two academic counselors, Mike McCloskey and Wilford Oney, visited the base and gave an orientation and information session and then assisted the attendees with the admissions and registration process.

The program was a success with 23 individuals completing an Oral Communications course. For five of them, it was the final course needed for degree completion. The College added a second course (Psychology) on-site for the spring semester to help meet the CCAF degree requirements. Additional course offerings are planned for the future as the program grows.

At the ceremony, Francis P. Pollock, Lt. Col, United States Air Force, said that he was impressed with Delaware Tech’s commitment to veterans and “can do” attitude when it came to creating the class. He hopes the program will become a benchmark nationally for the Air National Guard. “The thing this does for students is take all of their excuses away,” said Pollock. “It makes getting to the finish line that much easier.”