School’s in: Air station education office open for business

9 Sep 2010 | Lance Cpl. Courtney C. White

After high school many students either jump immediately into the work force, go to college or join the military. For those who decide to defend their country, there are ways to get a college education while serving.

The Air Station Education Office is open to service members and their dependents. The counselors can offer assistance with applying for the different forms of financial aid and determining which school is best for their interest.

“The education office is a great place for service members and their families to start when looking for a college to attend,” said Dr. R.J. Curtis, the Park University Beaufort campus director. “But students should also visit the schools before deciding which one to attend.”

Classes aboard the Air Station are available in various formats from online to lecture or a combination of both.

According to David Ellard, the education services officer for the Air Station and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, whether a student should take online classes or in-classroom classes depends on the individual and how they learn.

Students can take online classes from other schools outside of the six offered here as long as the school accepts the student.

“I think both meeting new people online and the flexibility of online classes are great perks for the online program,” said Sara Brammer, a Doctor of Philosophy. “I have had students from all over the world in my classes – it is a great experience for all.”

For those service members that have a hard time working college into their schedule, it is important to know that most schools allow an individual to stop school after the class is completed and begin when the service member’s schedule permits.

“Going to work, school and having a family can be tough,” said Navy Chief Petty Officer Cory Lee, a student of music appreciation. “I make school a priority though because eventually I’ll get out [of the Navy.] My weekends are what I have to look forward to, I try to get all of my homework done during the week so I can spend the weekends with my daughter.”

Tuition Assistance is available to all active duty service members. Each service member is allotted $4,500 a year for classes and it can be used along with other forms of financial assistance.

“I have never had anyone say they are glad they didn’t take advantage of their college opportunities,” Curtis said. “But I have had many service members say that they wish they did take advantage of the benefits while they were active duty.”

For more information about financial assistance, which courses to take and how to choose a college, contact the Education Office at 228-7484.

Or visit the Lifelong Learning Center’s website at for courses offered, contact information and types of classes offered.