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179 Airlift Wing partners with OSU on completing degrees

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Hill
  • 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
If the Enlisted Force Advisory Council has their way, soon non-commissioned officers in E-8 and above slots will be required to complete their Community College of the Air Force associates degrees. To help foster this environment of focusing on continuing one's education and becoming well rounded in one's career field, the 179th Airlift Wing has partnered with The Ohio State University's Mansfield Branch to offer select classes on base.

The offered courses are chosen based on what most guard members need to complete their CCAF degrees. These courses are Math, English and Speech. The classes are being designed to fit easily into a member's busy day by being scheduled during an extended lunch hour and directly after normal first shift work hours.

"Now is the time to get on board," Command Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Eyster said regarding members completing their CCAF degrees. "Especially for those on the bubble, get the requirement done. It will soon be a part of the promotion regulations."

The first round of classes is currently in session with a class being held in the UTAH Room at 1700 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Also, a class is ongoing in the Logistics Readiness Squadron classroom in building 203 from 1130 until 1330 on Mondays and Wednesdays. Senior leadership on base has encouraged the partnership by allowing on duty members to take the course during the lunch hour without taking additional leave for the extended period of time.

While the courses on base are allowing members to further their education with minimal disruption to their daily lives, the collaboration is also exposing the 179 AW to students who are not currently members of the Ohio Air National Guard. The courses are open to all OSU students who are able to get clearance to be on base. This allows students who have not joined the military a chance to see inside the gates and possibly consider a career with the Guard.

"This has been my best personal teaching experience," remarked Paula Cohen, a speech instructor with OSU who has been teaching at the 179 AW. "It is also great to see the 18 to 20 year olds [who are not from the unit]. They are doing great being surrounded with more mature students."

Maj. Kenneth Kmetz, Force Support Squadron officer, said OSU is a great partner for the 179 AW because they have strict standards for which courses they will accept towards a degree, much like the CCAF standards. Both colleges do not accept developmental or remedial courses in Math or English toward a degree. OSU is willing to provide a developmental course on base if enough students need the course to qualify to take an approved course toward graduation.

To determine the need for these developmental classes, OSU is conducting pretests on base. The test is expected to take an hour to complete. "You don't need an appointment," Kmetz said, "Just show up ready to test." For more information of testing locations and times, please contact Maj. Kmetz at 419-520-6296.

This collaboration is the first time the Mansfield OSU branch has partnered with the military to provide courses on base. Cohen said she is thrilled at the chance to bring the OSU courses to the base and is looking forward to seeing the partnership flourish.

As a reminder, to use the Ohio Air National Guard tuition assistance, students must be registered for the Winter Term no later than Nov. 1. For additional questions about tuition assistance visit