Military Education and Training Services helps Airmen meet career goals, pursue higher education to veteran’s home in Rebuilding Together project Published Nov. 16, 2007 By Amanda Creel 78 ABW/PA Robins Air Force Base, Ga. -- When people talk about the perks of a military career, many speak of the value of being provided with educational training, whether it's job related or the chance to pursue a higher education. Once an Airman joins Team Robins their educational pursuits are made a little bit easier by working side-by-side with the Robins Military Education and Training Services center to reach the goals before them. "We start when they first hit the base starting with their CDC's and then their education," said Shelton Richardson, interim base training manager. The team says it prides itself in not only assisting each Airman to the best of their ability, but in seeing the Airmen accomplish their goals whether it is completing their Professional Military Education, their Career Development Course training or pursing college degrees. Andrea Harris, degree program administrator and guidance counselor, said the key word is "completion" because seeing the Airmen finish whatever they are pursuing is reward enough for the center's team. "What we do is ensure all enlisted military personnel first start out and get their CDC training through their 5-level," said Maurice Rogers, military formal schools administrator. The reason Airmen are required to complete their 5-level training prior to pursuing their college degree is to ensure their educational pursuits don't interfere with their military career, Mr. Richardson said. The center served more than 8,000 customers during fiscal 2007. "We have thousands and thousands of repeat customers and we have a 99 percent satisfaction rate. I think that speaks highly of our educational services personnel that people do keep coming back again and again," Debbie Nuenschwander, Robins education services officer. Mr. Richardson, Ms. Harris and Mr. Rogers agree that it is the team's attitudes toward their jobs that allows them to help the Airmen who enter the center succeed. Many of the members of the team have ties to the Air Force, whether they are prior service or a dependent so they have the ability to emphathize with the Airmen and understand the importance of involving the entire Airman's family in the training and education process. "We all have that background where we can understand how they feel and what they are going through," Ms. Nuenschwander said. Some of the other programs available through the center include Defense Language Proficiency Test 5 and assistance with scheduling upgrade training such as the NCO Academy and the Airmen War College. The center is also available to help Airmen earn their Community College of the Air Force degree and enroll in the Air University Associate-to Baccalaureate Cooperative. The team was recently recognized by Air Force Materiel Command for their commitment to assisting Airmen with their educational needs by being selected as the Nathan Altschuler Outstanding Education and Flight Services Award for 2007. Ms. Nuenschwander said the achievement is notable because the center just came under the management of Eagle Systems in March of 2006, meaning they earned the award the first full fiscal year they had the contract. "In that short time, they have done an outstanding job," Ms. Nuenschwander said. Some of the banner accomplishments the center staff believes helped them earn the recognition included exceeding $3 million of Tuition Assistance for the first time during fiscal 2007. The center also proctored 989 CLEP and DANTES exams helping Airmen earn college credit without taking classes, which saved the Air Force approximately $356,000 in tuition costs. The staff also reduced the waiting time for Airmen who visited the center for educational counseling. "We average a wait time of 4 and a half minutes per customer and when they first started the wait time was over 16 minutes to see an education counselor," Ms. Nuenschwander said. For Airmen who complete their degrees and are hoping to earn their commission, the center also boasts an 80 percent acceptance rate for enlisted personnel who apply for Officer Training School.