Hello from Iraq!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by girlii, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. girlii

    girlii New Member



    I'm rather new to the online school experience (I've taken a course online from a community college before, but never a fully online school). I'm still rather afraid to sign up for one, but am becoming really desperate to finish my Bachelor's degree and the USAF is certainly not helping as far as stability of location goes.

    I'm stationed in Okinawa, Japan, but am currently deployed to Iraq. Thankfully, the education center here has recently gotten someone to visit once a month to administer CLEP and DSST. I've never taken one of those before, either, but am signed up for four of them at the end of this month.

    I just had my first child last May, and really want to contribute to the success of my family. There is a 6-month deployment deferral after having a baby for women, but I was sent out the door at 6 months and one day. I'm proud that I was able to return to Iraq and serve my time here, but at the same time I'm sad that I'm missing my baby's first steps, words, and birthday. I have about 1 year left on my enlistment, after which I'm seriously considering getting out. I'm terrified at the prospect of not finding a job in the current market, though, and need to make myself more marketable.

    I have a CCAF degree for Electronic Systems Technology, and about 50 lower-level credit hours from B&M schools (mostly community colleges).

    I would really appreciate any advice... especially from former servicemembers who may have had a similar situation, though I'll be more than happy to hear from anyone. :) If anyone here is using the new GI bill, I have some questions for you!
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Hi girlii - Send that baby a kiss from me. I'm sorry for your current troubles and I appreciate the service you're providing for our country. You haven't really said what sort of degree you'd most like. I think that you might be surprised about how many options you have. Let us know.
  3. girlii

    girlii New Member

    Hi Kizmet, thanks for your kind words!

    I'm not even sure what degree I'd like; I want one that is useful in the real world, though. I'm good with electronics and computers (have a Security+ certification), but I think the job market is oversaturated with those types right now. I need a profession that can travel easily, as my husband is probably going to stay active duty.
    I think something like pharmacology would be great, but doubt I could finish that within the constraints of the GI bill (4 years).
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2018
  4. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Welcome girlii, I don't have much advice to give you but I'm sure that you will find a lot of help from many knowledgeable people here. There are several schools (the "big three") which accept 100% transfer credit towards their degrees, as well as many military friendly online schools (ex AMU, American Military University).

    Thank you for your dedicated service to your country despite the hardships you are currently facing!
  5. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

    Don't blame the Air Force. If it is something you want to get done, you will get it done.

    Example A - I made the decision to go from my CCAF to a bachelor's in 2001 when our first kid was born. The first class started in September 2001. I deployed shortly after that as OEF kicked off. When I got back I got tagged to be a midshift supervisor. In June of 2002, I got tagged for another deployment. When I got back, I got stuck in another shiftwork position. Despite deployments and shiftwork, I knocked out 51 credits between Sep 01 and Apr 03 and graduated with a B.S. from Embry-Riddle.

    I recommend checking out the AU-ABC and Dantes sites.
  6. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member


    Under the "Distance Learning Link", you will find a list of schools which participate in the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium and the distance learning programs that they have available. These schools meet the following four criteria:

    - Reasonable Transfer of Credit: avoid excessive loss of previously earned credit and avoid course work duplication
    - Reduced Academic Residency: limited to no more than 25% of degree requirements with no final year or semester in residence (may require 30% for undergraduate degrees offered 100% online), specifically avoiding any "final year" or "final semester" residency requirement
    - Credit for Military Training and Experience: recognize and use ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services in evaluating and awarding academic credit for military training and experience
    - Credit for Nationally-Recognized Testing Programs: award credit for at least one nationally-recognized testing program such as College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) General and Subject Examinations, (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), Excelsior College Examinations (ECE)
  7. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    First off, thank you for your service to our country.

    I served in Iraq from April 2004 - 2005 in the Green Zone. I completed a couple of courses towards my PhD while there, so I applaud you for not letting deployment get in your way. While I understand everyone's deployment is different, many times it is the choices that you make in your off time that determine if you can complete courses while deployed.

    Something to consider. You will be hard pressed to find a civilian employer that will support your educational goals like the military does. Yes, there are civilian employers that do, but I believe they are in the minority. So, before you decide to leave the AF, you might want to plan on earning a degree 1st.

    Again, good luck
  8. jaer57

    jaer57 New Member

    Hi Girlii! You came to the right place for some good information; the people here are very well informed to help you.

    By the way, when you get back to Kadena and if you find the time, go scuba diving! I loved scuba diving in Okinawa; never had it so good anywhere else. Try to take some time off in Okuma as well, if you can. They have great rates for the log cabins, and it's just really relaxing up there. You can visit Hiji falls, hedo point, and Nago from up there if you want to tour around.

    Anyways, sorry to blab; I just love Okinawa. :) Can't wait to go back! Good luck and stay safe!
  9. OU812

    OU812 New Member

    You can do it

    I was able to finish (2) CCAF Degrees and a AS Degree in 7 months while on active duty Air Force, just remember your motivation for completing your degree and you will overcome the obstacles.:)
  10. Hi girlii,

    Keep the faith up. I am not an expert on the new GI Bill, but I am using it so I would be willing to try and answer some questions.
  11. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Hi Girlii,

    I would look into Excelsior College (one of the "Big 3" online schools referenced throughout this forum). Excelsior is very military friendly and they participate in the the Air University - Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative Program (AU-ABC).

    Another online school participating in the AU-ABC program include the University of Maryland - University College. UMUC offers a CCAF - Electronic Systems Technology to UMUC B.S. in Computer Studies.

    Thank you for your service to our country.

    Best regards,
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2010
  12. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

  13. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    TUIU (formerly Touro University International) offers an online CCAF-AAS to BS, with majors in Business Administration, Health Sciences, Information Technology Management and Computer Science. TUIU might be a good option for you, since they do not require textbooks (which I can imagine are tough to lug around in Iraq). Course materials are sent via DVD.

    All of the schools that I've mentioned (Excelsior, UMUC, BSC and TUIU) are regionally accredited. There are some DETC (nationally accredited) schools that participate in the AU-ABC program, however, given that the military is footing the bill for your education, I would stick with the RA schools. Just my $.02.

    I would recommend that you visit the AU-ABC section of the Air Force Virtual Education Center portal for a full list of cooperating schools and programs.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2010
  14. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I agree that Excelsior should suit your needs - the BS in liberal studies/arts is probably the most flexible degree in the world regarding course requirements. You can include 59 units of professional courses and they accept CLEP and DSST credits. You can take courses at any RA college in the US and members of this forum are always happy to point you to courses that meet your needs
    Don't be misled by the degree title -my BSLS is predominantly in engineering.

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