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Posted: August 3, 2017 1:35 p.m.
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Education Matters Briefs - Aug. 3

GoArmyEd is tool to aim higher
Enrollment is open to all eligible Soldiers to participate in the on-post college programs offered at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield education centers:
• Central Texas College: 912-767-2070/Hunter 912-315-4090
• Columbia College: 912-877-3406/Hunter 912-352-8635
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: 912-355-0644 (Hunter)
• Savannah Technical College: 912-408-2430 (Stewart)
• Webster University: 912-876-8080

Fall classroom schedules announced
Central Texas College: Aug. 14 - Oct. 7
Columbia College: Aug. 28 - Oct. 21
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University: Aug. 7 - Oct. 8
Webster University: Aug. 21 - Oct. 20
(Tuition Assistance requests must be approved five days prior to the start date of class)

MyCAA available for military spouse
Military Spouse Career Advancement Account scholarship provides up to $4,000 of tuition assistance to spouses of service members on active duty in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2 and O-1 to O-2 who can start and complete their degree program while their military sponsor is on Title 10 military orders, including spouses married to members of the National Guard and reserve component in these same pay grades. For additional information contact a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647.

Attention service, Family Members
Do you need assistance in choosing your specific education/career plans? Transition education counselors provide counseling services on educational opportunities to ensure academic readiness; skills and needs assessments; goal-setting and education plan development; understanding and applying for VA educational benefits; federal student aid; Yellow Ribbon programs; scholarships and grants; transfer of military experience into college credits; college application and other admissions concerns. Visit the Fort Stewart education center to speak with a transition assistance counselor, or call 912-767-2396 or 912-767-3905 for an appointment.

Free tutoring services for military
Tutor.com
enables eligible service and Family Members, and students (grades K-12), to connect to a tutor online at any time for one-to-one help with homework, studying and test prep at no cost. Tutoring support is available in over 40 subjects to help students complete course assignments and improve grades.

Avoid education Scams
Don’t get tricked into paying a diploma mill. Diploma mills claim accreditation by a fake accrediting agency to attract students to their degree programs. Diploma mills are not accredited by a regionally or nationally recognized agency, you will not find the school’s accrediting agency on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies (ope.ed.gov/accreditation/agencies.aspx).  For a database of accredited institutions go to nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator and www.chea.org.

Register for ESL classes
Free English as a Second Language classes covering speaking, listening, writing, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and culture are offered at the Fort Stewart Education Center in room 227.  Classes run Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Prep for your GED success
GED preparation classes are available at no cost through the Liberty County Adult Education Program, run by Savannah Technical College at the Fort Stewart Army Education Center. Day and evening classes are available with computer-based and self-paced options, as well as instructor-led. For more Information contact Savannah Tech at 912-368-7322.

Register for GED classes
Adult Literacy and GED Prep courses are offered by the Liberty County Adult Education Program – Savannah Technical College at the Fort Stewart Education Center. These free classes are held 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday and also 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesdays.

Stay away from diploma mills
A diploma mill is an institution that operates without state or accrediting agency supervision, and awards diplomas that are fraudulent or worthless because the school fails to meet the proper standards.  Diploma mills are more interested in taking your money than providing you with a quality education. Diploma mills often use the internet to market their programs, and they promise degree completion in a few months in exchange for a fee.  Diploma mills often claim accreditation by a fake accrediting agency to attract students to their programs. Because diploma mills are not accredited by a regionally or nationally recognized agency, you will not find the institution’s accrediting agency on the U.S. Recognized Agencies Department of Education’s list of Nationally Accrediting Agencies (ope.ed.gov/accreditation).

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?
The Yellow Ribbon Program was established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows colleges, universities and other degree granting US schools to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition and fee expense that exceed the tuition and fee amounts payable under the Post-911 GI Bill. The school can contribute a specified dollar amount of those expenses, and VA will match the contribution not to exceed 50 percent of the difference. To receive the Yellow Ribbon Program benefits you must be enrolled in an approved program with a school that participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. To know if you are eligible, how the program will benefit you and if your school participates in the program go to the website at www.gibill.va.gov.

Credentialing Opportunities On-line
Army Credentialing Opportunities Online (https://www.cool.army.mil) provides information on how Soldiers (Enlisted and Warrant Officers) can fulfill the requirements for civilian certifications and licenses related to military occupational specialties; identifies licenses and certificates relevant to Army MOS, and describes how to fill gaps between Army training, experience and civilian credentialing.

GoArmyEd is the way to go higher
GoArmyEd
allows service members to request tuition assistance up to 60 calendar days prior to the class start date of a class. In accordance with Department of Defense policy, all tuition assistance must be requested and approved prior to the start date of a class. To allow time for processing, review, and tuition approval, service members should submit TA requests to GoArmyEd not later than five business days prior to the class start date for which TA is being requested. This policy applies to all schools in GoArmyEd. Tuition assistance requests submitted less than that five business days prior to a class start date that are not approved prior to the start date will not be eligible for After the Fact Exception  to policy regardless of the reason.  Soldiers will be solely responsible for all tuition costs for TA requests submitted less than five business days prior to the class start date for which TA was not approved.

Rules for using tuition assistance
The service requirements for using tuition assistance are one year of service after completion of Initial Military Training or Basic Officer Leaders Course. Soldiers must have completed 10 years of service before TA is authorized for any master’s degree courses, IF TA was ever used at the undergraduate level. TA requests must be approved prior to the start date of the class. A good rule of thumb is to make sure all requests are completed at least 10 business days prior to the class start date to allow time for processing. The semester caps for TA are: 16 semester hours of TA per Fiscal Year, undergraduate level cannot be more than  130 SHs, and the graduate level cannot be more than 39 SHs.

Army Personnel Testing guidance
Soldiers requesting to take an Army Personnel Testing, such as the DLPT, DLAB, AFCT, or SIFT, should contact Army Personnel Testing by phone at 912-767-1830 or by email at usarmy.stewart.usag.list.dhr-education-testing@mail.mil.

Schedule Army personnel tests virtually
The Fort Stewart Education Center has developed several DA form 4187’s into a fillable PDF format located on its website at www.stewart.army.mil/services/education/miltesting.asp.  Click on the name of the APT you want to schedule and the form will be ready to complete.  If you have questions, please call 912-767-1830.

We support your educational needs
Do you have questions regarding educational opportunities, goal-setting, skills and needs assessments, training and education requirements for future career plans? Contact a Transition Education Counselor to schedule an appointment or to attend a free two-day Higher Education Workshop 912-767-2396 or 767-3905.

Education Counselor support available
Need to reach an Army Education Counselor? Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield education centers offer a one-stop email address to help. Email usarmy.stewart.usag.list.dhr-education-counselor@mail.mil for assistance. Students can also find information on the website at www.stewart.army.mil/info/?id=400 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FtStewartACES.

Need money for college?
Financial aid sources available for military spouses and dependents are as follows:
Free application for federal student aid –  www.fafsa.ed.gov
Military Family Scholarships Search - aid.military.com/scholarship/search-for-scholarships.do
Army Emergency Relief Scholarships for spouses and children –  www.aerhq.org/education.asp
Georgia Hope Scholarship and Grant - www.dtae.org/hope.html
Fisher House-Helping Military Families - www.fisherhouse.org

Support for Family education
Locally the Fort Stewart Officer Spouses Club (www.steelmagnolia.org) and the Enlisted Spouses Club (fortstewartesc.com) both offer scholarships to military spouses. Columbia College offers a spouse scholarship for the first classroom course, if the Soldier is also enrolled (912-767-3930 or 912-352-8635). Central Texas College has multiple scholarships (912-876-4045 or 912-315-4090). Following are additional sources for aid:
Savannah Technical College: www.savannahtech.edu/Financial Aid.
Georgia Hope Scholarship: https://www.gafutures.org/hope-state-aid-programs/. Family Members qualify for HOPE Grant upon arrival.
Commissary scholarship for military children: www.militaryscholar.org.

Get CLEP, DSST free prep material
Do you need Test-Prep study material for the College Level Examination Program and DANTES Subject Standardized Test exams? Get free CLEP and DSST test preparation material by visiting free-clep-prep.com; or/and www.nelnetsolutions.com/dod/. Once you select the test category, register as a new user to access the test prep.

Know types of accrediting schools
Regional, national and specialized are three types of accrediting schools. Regional is mostly accredit degree granting, nonprofit institutions.  National accredits both degree-granting and none-degree granting institutions, as well as nonprofit schools. Specialized accredits programs and single-purpose institutions.

Accreditation, why is it important?
The accreditation status of a college, university, or vocational institution gives a student an indication of its general quality.  It means that the school has undergone an in-depth review, met certain standards and was found worthy of approval.  Accreditation is performed by independent, non-government agencies. There are two primary types of accreditation: Regional, which is awarded to an institution by one of six regional accrediting agencies, and National, which is awarded to private, sometimes for-profit schools that offer a diversity of subject matter. Specialized or professional accreditation applies to a single department or program within the institution as in health sciences, cosmetology, art and design, engineering, or law.

How to verify accreditation
Contact the school - ask questions about their programs, courses, and their accreditation status. Unaccredited  institutions are not reviewed against a set of standards to determine the quality of their programs. Unaccredited schools generally cost less, it takes less time to earn a degree. Research the school online, visit its official website for information, look it up on the government’s official list of schools that are accredited by the Secretary of Education: ope.ed.gov/accreditation.  Do your research: check with other institutions regarding transfer of credit to other colleges and universities. Diploma Mills are learning institutions that operates without state or accrediting agency supervision, and awards diplomas that are fraudulent or worthless.  Diploma mills use the internet to market their programs, and often promise degrees in a few days or months for a fee. Tuition is charged on a per-degree basis, rather than per credit, course or semester. There are few or unspecified requirements, or none at all.  The school is normally relatively new, or has recently changed its name.  Addresses are P.O. box numbers or suites.  If you have doubts about the institution, contact the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org. You may use the following checklist in determining a diploma mill: Can the degree be purchased?  Is there little to no class attendance required?  Can the degree be earned in a very short period of time (a few weeks, days or months?).

Counselor support available
Need to reach an Army education counselor? Fort Stewart-Hunter Airfield education centers offer a one-stop email address at usarmy.stewart.usag.list.dhr-education-counselor@mail.mil and ACES on Facebook, Web at www.facebook.com/FtStewartACES.


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